Marc N. Elliott

Photo of Marc Elliott
Distinguished Chair in Statistics; Senior Principal Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in statistics, Rice University; M.A. in statistics, Rice University; B.A. in statistics, Rice University; B.A. in psychology, Rice University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

More Experts


Marc N. Elliott is a senior principal researcher and holds the RAND Distinguished Chair in Statistics. His areas of interest include health disparities, Medicare, vulnerable populations, health care experiences, profiling of health care institutions, survey sampling, experimental design, casual inference, and case-mix adjustment. He has developed Bayesian methods of estimating race/ethnicity and associated disparities using surname and address information. Elliott led an Office of Minority Health project, developing novel, cost-effective sampling and analytic methods to improve national health estimates for small racial/ethnic subgroups. Since 2006, he has led the CMS Medicare CAHPS® (Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems) Analysis project, assessing patient experience of 400,000 surveyed beneficiaries annually and examining these experiences as functions of insurance type, geography, and beneficiary characteristics. Elliott has led or co-led several other HHS contracts. Since 1996, he has been RAND's lead statistician on the AHRQ CAHPS I-III projects and currently co-leads AHRQ CAHPS IV. Elliott is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the first recipient of its Mid-Career Award (Health Policy Section). He has published more than 280 articles in journals including JAMA, NEJM, BMJ, JGIM, AJPH, Medical Care, Pediatrics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Statistics in Medicine, Survey Methodology, and Chance. He serves on the editorial boards of Health Services Research, Medical Care Research and Review, Public Opinion Quarterly, and the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Elliott was recognized by Thomas Reuters as being among the Top 1 Percent of Cited Scientists 2002–2012. He holds a Ph.D. in statistics from Rice University.

Recent Projects

  • Consumer evaluations of Medicare, hospitals
  • Health disparities for small racial/ethnic groups

Selected Publications

Elliott MN, Kanouse D, et al., "Sexual Minorities in England Have Poorer Health and Worse Health Care Experiences: A National Survey," Journal of General Internal Medicine (forthcoming)

Schuster MA, Elliott MN, et al., "Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in 5th-Graders in 3 US Metropolitan Areas," New England Journal of Medicine, 367(8):735-45, 2012

Elliott MN, Haviland A, et al., "Adjusting for Subgroup Differences in Extreme Response Tendency When Rating Health Care: Impact on Disparity Estimates," Health Services Research, 44(2p1):542-561, 2009

Elliott MN, Zaslavsky AM, et al., "Effects of Survey Mode, Patient Mix, and Nonresponse on CAHPS Hospital Survey Scores," Health Services Research, 44(2):501-508, 2009

Elliott MN, McCaffrey D, et al., "Use of Expert Ratings as Sampling Strata for a More Cost-Effective Probability Sample of a Rare Population," Public Opinion Quarterly, 73(1):56-73, 2009

Elliott MN, Morrison PA, et al., "Using the Census Bureau's Surname List to Improve Estimates of Race/Ethnicity and Associated Disparities," Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology, 9(2):69-83, 2009

Elliott MN, Finch BK, et al., "Sample Designs for Measuring the Health of Small Racial Ethnic Subgroups," Statistics in Medicine, 27(20):4016-4029, 2008

Elliott MN, Haviland A., "Use of a Web-based Convenience Sample to Supplement and Improve the Accuracy of a Probability Sample," Survey Methodology, 33(2):211-215, 2007

Honors & Awards

  • Chair, RAND Distinguished Chair in Statistics and Health
  • Fellow, American Statistical Association
  • Mid-Career Award, American Statistical Association


  • A doctor and patient interacting

    Debunking Myths About Patient Experience Surveys

    Patient experience surveys give patients a voice. They can provide fair and relevant indicators that complement other metrics of health care quality to monitor and improve care.

    May 27, 2016 Future Hospital Partners Network

  • Businessman with diagram cloud

    The Statistician Is In: Q&A with Marc Elliott

    Statistician Marc Elliott talks about the real-world impact his work has had, how his discipline lets him 'play in everyone else's sandbox,' and more.

    Apr 17, 2015

  • A doctor with a patient filling out paperwork on a clipboard

    The Great Patient Experience Survey Myth

    Patient experience with care is an essential element in any assessment of health care quality. Surveys give patients a voice and provide fair and relevant indicators that complement other metrics of health care quality to inform patients' choices and providers' decisions about how to improve care.

    Dec 10, 2014 The Health Care Blog

  • A patient and doctor talking and looking at a clipboard

    Putting Patients First Can Result in Better Care Overall

    Better patient care experiences are associated with higher levels of adherence to recommended prevention and treatment processes, better clinical outcomes, better patient safety within hospitals, and less health care utilization.

    Jul 28, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • Using Patient Surveys to Rate Hospitals

    Hospitals that perform better on the survey tend to do better on clinical measures, have fewer readmissions within 30 days and have lower risk-adjusted mortality, write Marc Elliott and Alan Zaslavsky.

    Mar 22, 2012 The New York Times