Ken Thorpe
Learn more about Ken Thorpe

Kenneth E. Thorpe is Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions and co-directs the Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality. He is also the Executive Director of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, a national coalition of patients, providers, community organizations, business and labor groups and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of policies and practices that save lives and reduce health costs through more effective prevention and management of chronic disease.


Professor Thorpe was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1995. In this capacity, he coordinated all financial estimates and program impacts of President Clinton’s health care reform proposals for the White House. He also directed the administration’s estimation efforts in dealing with congressional health care reform proposals during the 103rd and 104th sessions of Congress. He has authored or co-authored over 85 articles, book chapters and books and is a frequent national presenter on issues of health care financing, insurance and health care reform at health care conferences, television and the media. He has advised governors and legislatures in many of the 50 state governments, as well as several presidential candidates.


Professor Thorpe received his Ph.D. from the Rand Graduate School, an M.A. from Duke University and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.


Recent Posts by Ken Thorpe

Slow Health Care Spending Growth Moderates GDP Growth In The Short Term And Policy Targets Should Reflect This

Economic growth is most often measured by growth in gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all final goods and services produced in an economy. Recent revisions to the first quarter 2014 estimates of U.S. GDP growth have raised concerns over the extent to which the Affordable Care...

October 16, 2014Costs and Spending

Treated Prevalence Versus Spending Per Case: Responding To Starr And Coauthors

I was surprised but pleased to see the Martha Starr, Laura Dominiak, and Ana Aizcorbe article in the May issue of Health Affairs replicating earlier work of Charles Roehrig and David Rousseau. These papers attempt to understand the role that treated disease prevalence and spending per case...

June 17, 2014Costs and Spending, Medicare

Medicare Integrate: A New Benefit Option For Medicare Beneficiaries

I. The Need for Medicare Reform Policy options for making the Medicare program sustainable over the long run will have to identify approaches that reduce costs and improve the quality of care delivered. Effective interventions will be ones that target the key cost drivers in the system,...

The Current Medicare Debate Will Not Solve The Program’s Problems

The mistake policymakers have long made in debating Medicare (and Medicaid, though that’s a topic for another day) is that they talk about Medicare the same way they talk about Social Security. It’s understandable at some level, since these two programs are the country’s largest entitlement...

Reforming How We Pay For Health Care: The Role Of Bundled Payments

Structural reforms to the Medicare and Medicaid programs will be on the table as the debate over entitlement reform intensifies. There are three areas of opportunity for changing our entitlement programs: adding prevention initiatives that truly slow or reduce the growth in chronic disease...

Assuring Post-Acute Care Treatment for Medicare Beneficiaries

A federal judge in Vermont may soon act to approve a proposed settlement in a national class action suit, Jimmo v. Sebelius. In the case, the plaintiffs argue that Medicare contractors and administrative officials have been denying nursing and therapy services for patients who were not expected...

October 31, 2012Costs and Spending, Medicare, Quality

Creating the Virtual Integrated Delivery System

Preventing and more effectively managing chronic illness are critical national health priorities. Patients with chronic disease currently account for three-quarters of overall health spending. Multiple morbidities are common: More than half of Medicare beneficiaries are treated for five or more...