Jack Needleman, PhD, FAAN, is a faculty associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He teaches courses in health policy in the master’s programs and research design and research methods to doctoral and master's students, and has previously taught program and policy evaluation and health politics. He previously served as the Fred W. and Pamela K. Wasserman chair for the department.
Needleman’s research focuses on the impact of changing markets and public policy on quality and access to care, and health care provider and insurer responses to market and regulatory incentives. For the past decade, his research has focused on studies of quality and staffing in hospitals and on the evaluation and design of performance improvement activities. Three of Needleman’s first authored publications on quality of care and nurse staffing are designated patient safety classics by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Quality measures he developed have been adopted by AHRQ, Medicare, Joint Commission, and National Quality Forum and his expertise developing, testing and refining quality measures has been tapped by these and other organizations. He was lead evaluator for the Robert Wood Johnson initiative Transforming Care at the Bedside and serves on the Steering Council for the NIH-funded Improvement Science Research Network.
Needleman’s research extends beyond quality. He has directed projects on a wide range of topics, including studies of for-profit and nonprofit hospitals, the impact of community health centers on hospitalizations for ambulatory care sensitive conditions, and changes in access to inpatient care for psychiatric conditions and substance abuse. He has analyzed the cost, design and impact of expanding insurance, most recently in the development and refinement of the UCLA-Berkeley California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) modeling. He received a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award to study the future of public hospitals. He studied Canadian provisional systems for paying and regulating hospitals, physicians and supplemental health insurers, and regulating new technology. Prior to coming to UCLA in 2003, Needleman was on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health and before that served as vice president and co-director of the Public Policy Practice at Lewin/ICF, a Washington health policy research and consulting firm. While at Lewin/ICF, he conducted studies and served as a consultant to numerous state and federal task forces examining health care costs and access to care, and evaluated or helped design payment systems for hospitals, physicians, and nursing homes.
Needleman’s research on the impact of nurse staffing on patient outcomes in hospitals and the business case for increasing nurse staffing received the first AcademyHealth Health Services Research Impact Award. In recognition of the quality and impact of his research, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and made an honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
Needleman received his PhD in public policy from Harvard University.
The lack of adjustment to reflect inflation or the growth of household incomes is inequitable, because it lowers the real value of the reward — which in current dollars, could be as much as $1.5 million – six times the 1975 value, says Prof. Jack Needleman, chair of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management. "The second issue is that the cap, by lowering the risk of suit for malpractice, has also weakened the deterrent effect of risk of being sued on physician’s efforts to avoid malpractice."