Department of Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health
Carey Business School
Polsky, a national leader in the field of health policy and economics, has dedicated his career to exploring how health care is organized, managed, financed, and delivered—especially for low-income patients. Raising awareness on social media about the trade-offs between quality of care and total health spending is just one of his many passions.
As a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Economics, Polsky joined JHU from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as a professor of medicine and of health care management in Penn’s Wharton School. He holds joint appointments in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Carey Business School.
Polsky began his career in public policy and economics before setting his sights on the burgeoning field of health economics. He received a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan in 1989 and a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, when he joined the faculty at Penn.
In 2012, he was appointed executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics, and in 2018 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. He serves on the Health and Medicine Committee and on the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He is an associate editor of the journal Health Economics and serves on the editorial boards of several other journals including Health Services Research and Medical Care Research and Review. He co-authored Economic Evaluation in Clinical Trials, which was recently published by Oxford University Press to international acclaim.
His research goals extend beyond publication in scholarly journals. He served on several state and national policy advisory boards, including the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Board on Health and the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He currently serves as a health adviser to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.
Polsky’s published research has centered on the impact of a proposed work requirement for Medicaid recipients in Pennsylvania, finding that the vast majority—roughly 97 percent—of the 2.9 million people enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program would be exempt from work requirements. The report was presented to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and will help inform the state’s policy on Medicaid work requirements.