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Faculty Directory

Thomas R. Oliver,

Director, MHS in Health Policy Program

Contact Information

624 N. Broadway, Room 403
Baltimore , Maryland   21205



Professor Oliver's research draws upon theories of political behavior and policy making to examine critical issues in health care politics and system reform. It has two general goals. The first goal is to identify and assess the forces that bring about change in public policy and complex systems of health and social services. The second goal is to understand the substantive design of formal policies and, in particular, how issues of technical, economic, and political feasibility combine to shape initial proposals and final decisions.

Professor Oliver’s written work covers a number of areas in health policy, among them hospital financing and planning, technology assessment, the provision of dental services through HMOs, congressional policy making on health issues, and models of comprehensive health care reform in states and communities. His most recent work includes studies of state health insurance reforms, the evolution of Medicare policy, the role of foundations in shaping health policy and, more generally, the roles and strategies of leaders in health policy innovation.

Honors and Awards

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, 1993

  • Health Policy and Management
  • health politics and policy
  • public policy making
  • health system reform
  • policy innovation
  • leadership
  • health care competition
  • managed care
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • state health policy
  • Oliver, Thomas R. and Rachel Friedman Singer. 2006. “Health Services Research as a Source of Legislative Analysis and Input: The California Health Benefits Review Program.” Health Services Research 41 (June): 1124-58.

  • Lee, Philip R., Thomas R. Oliver, A.E. Benjamin, and Dorothy Lee. 2006. “Politics, Health Policy, and the American Character.” Stanford Law & Policy Review 17 (1) (April).

  • Oliver, Thomas R. 2006. “The Politics of Public Health Policy.” Annual Review of Public Health 27: 195-233.

  • Oliver, Thomas R. 2004. "Policy Entrepreneurship in the Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise of Managed Care and Managed Competition." Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 29 (August 2004): 701-33.

  • Oliver, Thomas R., Philip R. Lee, and Helene L. Lipton. 2004. "A History of Medicare and Prescription Drug Coverage." Milbank Quarterly 82 (June): 283-354.