J. Michael McWilliams, MD, PhD, is the Warren Alpert Associate Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. He is also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a practicing general internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. McWilliams’ research focuses on health care spending, quality, access, and disparities in aging populations. The overarching goal of his work is to inform the development of payment and delivery systems, insurance coverage, markets, and regulatory policy that support value and equity in health care, with a particular emphasis on the Medicare program. He is currently leading research funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Cancer Institute, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and Laura and John Arnold Foundation on a range of related topics, including accountable care organizations and other new payment models, provider consolidation, health care prices, risk adjustment, low-value care, the role of organizations in technology diffusion, and coverage expansions in the South.


He is a former recipient of a Paul B. Beeson Career Development Award in Aging Research and a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. In previous work, he has examined the influence of cognition on enrollment decisions in Medicare, risk adjustment in the Medicare Advantage program, the effects of Medicare prescription drug coverage on non-drug medical spending, and the effects of insurance coverage on health care, outcomes, and disparities.


Dr. McWilliams received his BS with highest distinction in biology as a Morehead Scholar from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his MD magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School, and his PhD in health policy from Harvard University. He completed his residency in general internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and was an AHRQ post-doctoral fellow in health services research at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. McWilliams has received the Mack Lipkin Senior Associate Award, Milton W. Hamolsky Junior Faculty Award, Best Published Research Paper of the Year Award, and Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine. He has also received the Dissertation Award, Noteworthy Article of the Year Award, and Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award from AcademyHealth. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and comments editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine.


Recent Posts by J. Michael McWilliams

Savings Reported By CMS Do Not Measure True ACO Savings

The bottom line is that we should not pay attention to any analysis that uses the benchmarks as the basis for assessing the effects of accountable care organizations on Medicare spending.