Robert A. Berenson, M.D., is co-chair (with William Morrill of the National Academy of Public Administration, NAPA) of the NASI and NAPA study collaboration, Management Analysis of Approaches for Improving Access to Health Care. The project, expected to reach completion in early 2008, will be a focus of the NASI conference of the same year. This latest commitment is indicative of Berenson’s extensive contributions, from practice to research and training, to the field of health care policy.
Trained as a practitioner by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a board-certified internist, Berenson practiced internal medicine for 12 years in the District of Columbia. He was the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1977-1979 and, through funding from the foundation in 1994, served as the National Program Director of Improving Malpractice Prevention and Compensation Systems (IMPACS) until 1998.
“Bob Berenson is a kind of Renaissance Man of health policy. He’s had significant experience as a practicing physician, a health plan manager, a public official, a policy analyst, a teacher, and an advocate. And he does them all with a very special thoughtfulness, insight, and wit,” said NASI member Bruce C. Vladeck.
Berenson has twice lent his expertise to the White House, in 1979-1980, serving as Assistant Director of Domestic Policy Staff, and in 1993, co-chairing initiatives under the Task Force on Health Care Reform. Berenson served a nine-year tenure as Founder and Medical Director of the National Capital Preferred Provider Organization (NCPPO) and later served as Vice President of the Lewin Group. From 1998-2000, Berenson worked for the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) as the Director of the Center for Health Plans and Providers (CHPP).
Of the latter, NASI member Kathleen Buto notes that, "As Director, Center for Health Plan and Providers, Bob was terrific at staying focused on what was important – getting good options to Medicare beneficiaries and paying providers fairly. Bob also was able to look objectively at issues like administrative burden and making the most of the resources we have — he led an effort to improve Medicare’s ability to act as a prudent purchaser." Before his current post as Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, Berenson also served as Senior Advisor to Academy of Health Services’ Research and Health Policy.
Berenson is a founding member of NASI and served on the study panel on Medicare Capitation and Choice. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and serves as Adjunct Professor to the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health as well as faculty to Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Additionally, Berenson has contributed to several publications on the topic of health care policy, with emphasis on issues involving Medicare. These publications include Health Affairs, New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Law and Contemporary Problems.