Betsy Q. Cliff

Broadly, Dr. Cliff's research explores whether consumer-driven healthcare, which stipulates individuals should choose and pay for medical treatments,  leads to better health care quality and more efficient spending patterns. A primary focus of Dr. Cliff's research agenda is the use of out-of-pocket costs in health insurance to influence spending and utilization. Dr. Cliff's training is in health services research, with a theoretical and methodological focus in economics. She primarily uses quasi-experimental research designs and econometric statistical techniques to measure the effects of policies or interventions. Often, her data come from large databases with medical and pharmaceutical claims from health insurers. Dr. Cliff has led projects related to effects of health insurance benefit design in both the commercial and Medicaid populations, affordability and spending in high-deductible plans, and impacts of interventions to influence use of high- and low-value health care services. 

Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, Dr. Cliff was a journalist and reported on health care policy for newspapers and magazines for nearly a decade. In that career, she wrote stories about hospital financing, medical errors, uninsurance, underinsurance, medical and pharmaceutical prices, care coordination, mental health, and the impact of health policies on individuals.