About Dr. Iezzoni

Lisa Iezzoni, MD, MSc
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Dr. Iezzoni has spent more than three decades conducting health services research focusing on two primary areas:  risk adjustment methods for predicting cost and clinical outcomes of care; and health care experiences and outcomes of persons with disabilities.   After spending 16 years as Co-Director of Research in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. Iezzoni joined the then Institute for Health Policy as Associate Director in 2006 and served as director of the newly-named Health Policy Research Center from 2009-2018.

Dr. Iezzoni has led numerous research grants with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Institutes of Health, the Health Care Financing Administration (now Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and other private foundations.  An internationally recognized expert in risk adjustment, she has edited Risk Adjustment for Measuring Health Care Outcomes, now in its fourth edition. Dr. Iezzoni began her disability research with a 1996 Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from RWJF, and the book summarizing this work, When Walking Fails: Mobility Impairments of Adults with Chronic Conditions, appeared in 2003.  Another book considering disability experiences more broadly, More Than Ramps: A Guide to Improving Health Care Quality and Access for People with Disabilities (coauthored with Bonnie L. O’Day), was published in 2006.  Dr. Iezzoni has also published numerous original articles, editorials, and commentaries in major medical and health services research journals.

Dr. Iezzoni speaks widely, and she has served on numerous committees and advisory boards of professional and governmental organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Medicine, the National Quality Forum, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.  For the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, she served on the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (1994-2001) and Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020 (2008-2009).  She has served on the editorial boards of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, Medical Care, Health Services Research, and the Disability and Health Journal, among others.  In 2000, Dr. Iezzoni was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Iezzoni also has a forthcoming book, entitled Making Their Days Happen: Personal Assistance Services Supporting People with Disability Living in Their Homes and Communities, to be published in Fall of 2021. 

Current Projects

National Institutes of Health

Exploring the Timeliness of Cancer Diagnoses in Persons with Significant Physical Disability

Goals: This exploratory study will examine whether aspects of person’s physical disability might delay the diagnosis of colorectal, prostate, or ovarian cancer or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, because cancer symptoms that patients report are erroneously attributed to their underlying disabling condition.

Role:  Principal Investigator

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Addressing Future Home-Based and Personal Care Needs for a Growing and Diverse Population

Goals: The proposed project will address this impending crisis through a review of policy and practice models, analyses of workforce trends and outcomes, and preliminary exploration of client and direct-care worker experiences and preferences.

Role: Principal Investigator

National Institutes of Health

Surveying Physicians to Understand Health Care Disparities Affecting Persons with Disability and Identity Approaches to Improve their Care

Goals:  To understand factors that contribute to health care disparities for persons with disability from the perspective of physicians practicing in outpatient settings and to use this understanding to develop a toolkit of practical suggestions for improving care.

Role: Principal Investigator

Dr. Iezzoni on PubMed

BA, Duke University
MSc, Harvard School of Public Health
MD, Harvard Medical School