Robert H. Brook

Robert H. Brook
Adjunct Physician Policy Researcher


M.D. and Sc.D., Johns Hopkins 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

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Robert H. Brook is an adjunct physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and professor emeritus of Medicine and Health Services at UCLA. He previously served for 19 years as vice president and director of RAND Health. He led the Health and Quality Group on the $80M Health Insurance Experiment and was coprincipal investigator on the Health Services Utilization Study. He was the coprincipal investigator on the only national study that has investigated, at a clinical level, how Medicare's prospective payment system affected the quality and outcome of acute hospital care. He was also the coprincipal investigator on a joint activity of 12 academic medical centers, the American Medical Association, and RAND, the purpose of which was to develop appropriateness criteria and parameters for the use of procedures.

Brook is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Association of Physicians. In 2005, he won the Institute of Medicine's Gustav O. Lienhard Award, cited “as the individual who, more than any other, developed the science of measuring the quality of medical care and focused U.S. policymakers' attention on quality-of-care issues and their implications for the nation's health.” He has been awarded the HRET Trust Award, the David E. Rogers Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Baxter Foundation Prize, the Rosenthal Foundation Award of the American College of Physicians, the Distinguished Health Services Researcher Award of the Association of Health Services Research, and the Robert J. Glaser Award of the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Brook received his M.D. and Sc.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Professor Emeritus of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Selected Publications

Corita R Grudzen, MD, MSHS, Marc N Elliott, PhD, Peter R. Kerndt, MD, MPH, Mark A Schuster, MD, PhD, Robert H Brook, MD, ScD, and Lillian Gelberg, MD, MSPH, "Condom Use and High-Risk Sexual Acts in Adult Films: A Comparison of Heterosexual and Homosexual Films," American Journal of Public Health, 2009

Alicia TF Bazzano, MD, MPH, Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH, Matthias Schonlau, PhD, Marika J Suttorp, MPH, and Robert H Brook, MD, ScD, "Off-Label Prescribing to Children in the United States Outpatient Setting," Academic Pediatrics, 9(2), 2009

Teryl K Nuckols, MD, MSHS, Anthony G Bower, PhD, Susan M Paddock, PhD, Lee H Hillborne, MD, MPH, Peggy Wallace, RN, MSN, Jeffrey M Rothschild, MD, MPH, Anne Griffin, RN, MPH, Rollin J Fairbanks, MD, MS, Beverly Carlson, MS, RN, CNS, Robert J Panzer,, "Programmable Infusion Pumps in ICUs: An Analysis of Corresponding Adverse Drug Events," Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(S1), 2008

Tseng CW, Mangione CM, Brook RH, Keeler E, Dudley RA, "Identifying Widely Covered Drugs and Drug Coverage Variation Among Medicare Part D Formularies," Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 297(23), 2007

Liu JH, Zingmond DS, McGory ML, SooHoo NF, Ettner SL, Brook RH, Ko CK, "Disparities in the utilization of high-volume hospitals for complex surgery," Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 296(16), 2006

M. A. Schuster et al., "How Good Is the Quality of Health Care in the United States?" The Milbank Quarterly, 83(4), 2005

P. G. Shekelle et al., "Identifying Potential Health Care Innovations for the Future Elderly," Health Affairs [Web exclusive], 2005

Douglas S. Bell et al., "Recommendations for Comparing Electronic Prescribing Systems: Results of an Expert Consensus Process," Health Affairs [Web exclusive], 2004

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: American Medical News; Business Times Singapore; Business Week; Forbes; HealthDay; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Sacramento Bee


  • Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

    It's Going to Be the Vaccination, Stupid!

    The increasingly positive news on COVID-19 vaccine development is also bringing growing alarm over whether Americans will trust these vaccines when they become available. While we were clearly not prepared for this virus, we now need to understand how we are going to roll out any proven vaccine.

    Aug 21, 2020

    The RAND Blog

  • Community Health and Well-Being

    Should the Definition of Health Include a Measure of Tolerance?

    Involving the medical community in helping to measure and increase tolerance could help make individuals and communities healthier. Since hate is both deadly and contagious, now is the time to engage the medical profession in eradicating it.

    Feb 15, 2017

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Health Care Costs

    We Need to Know What Physicians Are Thinking

    Before we allow others to implement policies attempting to optimize the use of physician time or reduce the amount of equivocal or inappropriate care, we need to understand what physicians think about these issues and what they are prepared to do about them, writes Robert H. Brook.

    Jun 17, 2012

    ABIM Foundation's Medical Professionalism Blog

  • Measuring Health Care Costs

    Do Physicians Need a 'Shopping Cart' for Health Care Services?

    Providing physicians with cost data in real time automatically as a part of the electronic medical record could make them better purchasers for their patients and provide better value, writes Robert H. Brook.

    Feb 22, 2012

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Affordable Care Act

    Two Years and Counting: How Will the Effects of the Affordable Care Act Be Monitored?

    Most will agree with the undeniable fact that a new era in US medicine and US health care begins in less than 2 years. The key question is what potential measures should be monitored to determine both anticipated and unanticipated effects of the new law on the health of the US population, writes Robert H. Brook.

    Jan 4, 2012

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Cost-Effectiveness in Health Care

    Can the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Become Relevant to Controlling Medical Costs and Improving Value?

    A scientific and political case could be made to amend health care legislation to require that cost be included in the studies that the PCORI funds, writes Robert H. Brook.

    Nov 9, 2011

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Measuring Health Care Costs

    The Role of Physicians in Controlling Medical Care Costs and Reducing Waste

    Because the budget crisis is really a crisis, it behooves physicians to answer the waste question as rapidly as possible. Without an answer, there is no hope that an appropriate policy process for reining in health care costs will be identified, writes Robert H. Brook.

    Aug 10, 2011

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Is Choice of Physician and Hospital an Essential Benefit?

    The movement toward reporting results of surgeons and hospitals will probably lead to a society in which the wealthy receive care from the better hospitals and physicians, writes Robert H. Brook.

    Jan 12, 2011

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Physician Compensation, Cost, and Quality

    Pay for performance, transparency, and other innovative ways of compensating physicians will work only if, at the same time, the system for providing care is changed to one that has clear objectives and provides specific tools to help physicians achieve those objectives, writes Robert H. Brook.

    Aug 18, 2010

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Medical Leadership in an Increasingly Complex World

    It is time for physicians to think beyond making their institution, practice, or professional society better. The population needs, and deserves, such leadership, writes Robert H. Brook.

    Jul 28, 2010

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Rights and Responsibilities in Health Care: Striking a Balance

    If patients do not take prescribed medications, are not appropriately vaccinated, or do not obtain preventive screening tests, they may incur costs that others will need to subsidize, writes Robert Brook.

    Jun 9, 2010

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • The Primary Care Physician and Health Care Reform

    Increased health care coverage raises issues in addition to cost containment. Increased coverage will mean increased demand for primary care physicians, writes Robert Brook.

    Apr 21, 2010

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Continuing Medical Education: Let the Guessing Begin

    It is time for a change before innovative medical researchers develop a new array of tests and measurements, making it even less likely that physicians will have the right answer, writes Robert Brook.

    Jan 27, 2010

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Disruption and Innovation in Health Care

    Successful health care reform may provide virtually all individuals in the United States an adequate health insurance package. However, the need to increase value for health care dollars will extend far beyond the current policy window, writes Robert Brook.

    Oct 7, 2009

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Assessing the Appropriateness of Care—Its Time Has Come

    The appropriateness assessment system is a concrete way the medical profession could respond to the need to produce more efficient and effective care, writes Robert Brook.

    Sep 2, 2009

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Possible Outcomes of Comparative Effectiveness Research

    Since the government is using taxpayer dollars to fund the comparative effectiveness initiative, it would be appropriate to have an organizing principle to guide the selection of which aspects of medical care to examine, writes Robert Brook.

    Jul 8, 2009

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • The Science of Health Care Reform

    It is time for physicians to commit as a profession to helping the President and Congress achieve the vision of a new health care system by improving the way medicine is practiced, writes Robert Brook.

    Jun 17, 2009

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Quality, Transparency, and the US Government

    If the government is demanding transparency of physicians and hospitals, the very least the physicians and hospitals should do is demand transparency of the government, writes Robert Brook.

    Apr 1, 2009

    The Journal of the American Medical Association

  • Health Policy and Public Trust

    As a new political window for health care reform is approached, building trust and motivating collaboration between community members and the individuals who produce information about the system is critical, writes Robert Brook.

    Jul 9, 2008

    The Journal of the American Medical Association