Dr. Fisher is Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the John E Wennberg Distinguished Professor of Health Policy, Medicine and Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
Dr. Fisher is recognized for several major contributions to research and policy. He led seminal research on the promise and perils of using large administrative databases for health care research, work that helped to validate the quality of the data and demonstrated how such data could be used to answer important epidemiologic and policy questions. He then built on this work to explore the causes and consequences of the dramatic differences in spending observed across U.S. regions and academic medical centers, demonstrating that the 60% higher intensity of care in high cost U.S. regions and health systems did not result in better health outcomes and was largely due to differences in the use of discretionary and potentially avoidable care. This work was the first to reveal the magnitude of waste in U.S. healthcare and helped to provide the rationale for the transition to value-based payment that is now underway. Third, he led the team that did the empirical research that provided the rationale for Accountable Care Organizations and worked with colleagues to adapt the concept in ways that helped lead to its inclusion in the Affordable Care Act and adoption by many private payers. His current research focuses on evaluating how innovations in payment and care delivery are being implemented within the U.S. health care system and the impact of these changes on health system performance. He now leads one of three federally funded U.S. Centers of Excellence in Health Systems Research that is applying an implementation science framework to exploring the impact of new payment and delivery models and how the effectiveness of different models varies according to different organizational, market and policy contexts.
He has published over 150 research articles and commentaries. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and completed his internal medicine residency and public health training at the University of Washington. He serves on the boards of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences).