Irene Fraser, Ph.D., is a political scientist who has specialized in research on Medicaid, private health insurance, and health care measurement, payment, and delivery. She is currently a senior fellow with NORC (formerly known as National Opinion Research Center) at the University of Chicago, an independent research institution that provides data and analysis to guide programmatic, business, and policy decisions. She is also on the board of The Leapfrog Group, a national non-profit organization that promotes improvements in the safety of health care by giving consumers data to make more informed hospital choices.
From 1995 to 2015, Dr. Fraser was director of the Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The focus of this center is on improving the quality and value of health care by improving the organization, structure, and financing of health care organizations and markets. The center develops and maintains measures of quality and efficiency through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Quality Indicators (QI); leads and supports research on financial and organizational strategies to improve quality and value; and manages the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a public-private partnership with states to produce all-payer databases, tools, and research on inpatient, emergency department, and ambulatory surgery care.
Dr. Fraser also spent eight years working on access and delivery issues at the American Hospital Association, as senior associate director for policy and director of ambulatory care. Earlier in her career, Dr. Fraser was associate professor of political science and director of the public policy program at Barat College and adjunct faculty to the Institute for Health Law at Loyola School of Law.
Dr. Fraser’s work has appeared in journals including “Health Affairs”, “Inquiry”, “Health Care Financing Review”, “Medical Care Research and Review”, “Journal of Healthcare Management”, “Journal of Ambulatory Care Management”, “Health Services Research” and “Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law”. A monograph series on the uninsured includes volumes on state Medicaid expansions, programs to promote private health coverage for the employed uninsured, and uncompensated care pools.
Dr. Fraser has a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Spanish from Chatham College, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.