Research Methods

The research team at UMass Medical School's Center for Health Policy and Research works closely with other departments to provide support for research design, implementation, and data analysis. Our staff includes experts with extensive experience in analysis of large public databases and in a variety of relevant disciplines including:

Statistical Modeling and Biostatistics

The statistical research team occupies a unique position with its access to and experience with a wide range of raw Medicaid and Medicare data. We have a team of biostatisticians on staff with the skills to transform a wide range of variables into usable information and understanding of how they fit into a conceptual model. This expertise can be applied to a range of evaluation projects, including cost-benefit analysis and utilization trends.

Risk Adjustment and Population Stratification

We have extensive experience in analyzing historical medical claims data and using health risk predictive models developed for Medicaid populations, such as The Chronic Illness and Disability Payment System (CDPS), Diagnostic Cost Groups (DCGs), and Adjusted Clinical Groups(ACGs). These tools may be used to identify and target at-risk populations for care management and to adjust analyses to account for the presence of co-morbid conditions and overall illness burden.

Survey Research

Our survey research team is deeply experienced in survey project development, survey tool design, data collection techniques and strategies, as well as data analysis and implementation. Survey research is an important part of most evaluation and measurement studies, and is mandated for many Medicaid program assessment projects.

Key Staff



Robin Clark  Robin E. Clark, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Research
Ann Lawthers  Ann Lawthers, S.M., Sc.D.
Senior Director, Evaluation and Measurement, and Director, Clinical Policy and Projects
Thomas McLaughlin Thomas McLaughlin, Sc.D.
Senior Director, Dissemination and Implementation

Learn More

Center for Health Policy and Research
(508) 856-3124