Deborah Freund is a professor in the economic sciences in the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation. In the past, she has served as the O’Neill-Alcoa Chair of Policy Analysis at the RAND Corporation, the president of Claremont Graduate University, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and distinguished professor of public administration and economics at Syracuse University, and the vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of the faculties and professor of public affairs, economics and medicine at Indiana University.
She began her academic career as an assistant and associate professor in the departments of health policy and administration at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is known for her research and evaluation of Medicaid and the outcomes and costs of total knee replacement. She wrote the Australian guidelines on pharmacoeconomics—legislation that determines national drug prices through cost-effectiveness analysis and setting a reference price—a practice that has spread across the world. She was on the team that designed the Medical Care Expenditures Panel Survey and was the principal investigator of the team that created the Fair Health Database.
Freund is the author of more than 100 refereed articles and chapters, and two books, and has been on the editorial board of 10 journals and publishers. Her current interests are in value-based reimbursement, Medicaid managed care, health disparities, consolidation in healthcare and clinically integrated health plans. For her research, she has received numerous grants and contracts, totaling over $50 million as principal investigator and another $50 million as a participant. Funding agencies have included CMS (formerly HCFA), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the New York State Health Foundation, AHRQ, NIH, NSF and the states of Vermont and Ohio.
Freund received the Kershaw Prize, which is given to a scholar under age 40 by the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management; the J.S. Drotman Award from the American Public Health Association, which recognizes an individual younger than 30 who has challenged public health in a creative manner; and the Board of Trustees Award from the American Hospital Association. Freund has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, and consulted for the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine).
Her current board service includes Cedars Sinai Health System, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the San Antonio Regional Hospital. Her previous board service included the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield, MedAmerica, and Academy Health and Tuition Plan. She serves on many advisory boards including the Duke University Evaluation Hub, the Catalyst for Health Reform, and the Dean’s Advisory Board for the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She served as chair of the Board of Health Research and Education Trust of the American Hospital Association, the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), and the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association. Freund was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance in 2003.
She received a master’s degree in applied economics, a master of public health degree in medical care administration, and a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan.
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