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 at RAND and holds its Distinguished Chair in Statistics. His areas of interest include health equity, quality measurement, Medicare, vulnerable populations, healthcare experiences, survey sampling, experimental design, casual inference, and case-mix adjustment in U.S. and UK applications. He has developed Bayesian methods of estimating race/ethnicity and associated disparities using surname and address information. Elliott led Office of Minority Health work developing novel, cost-effective sampling and analytic methods to improve national health estimates for small racial/ethnic groups. Since 2006, he has led the CMS Medicare CAHPS® (Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems) Analysis project assessing patient experiences for 400,000 surveyed beneficiaries annually. Since 2012, he has been the RAND co-PI of AHRQ's CAHPS project and was RAND's lead statistician on that project 1996–2012. Elliott is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the first recipient of its Mid-Career Award (Health Policy Section). He has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles in a variety of journals. He serves on the editorial boards of Health Services Research and Medical Care Research and Review. In 2014, Elliott was recognized by Thomson Reuters as one of the Top 1% of Cited Scientists 2002–2012. In 2017, Elliott became a member of the Academy Health Methods Council. 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, Klein DJ, et al. , "Using Predicted Spanish Preference to Target Bilingual Mailings in a Mail Survey with Telephone Follow-up," Health Services Research, 2018

Elliott MN, Landon B, et al., "Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Enrollees Report Less Positive Experiences Than Their Medicare Advantage Counterparts," Health Affairs, 35(3), 2016

Elliott MN, Beckett MK, Lehrman WG, Cleary PD, Cohea C, Giordano LA, Goldstein E, Damberg C, "Understanding The Role Medicare's Patient Experience Points System Plays In Hospital Reimbursement," Heath Affairs, 35(9), 2016

Elliott MN, Finch BK, et al., "Sample Designs for Measuring the Health of Small Racial Ethnic Subgroups," Statistics in Medicine, 27(20), 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), 2007

Elliott MN, Dahlhamer JM, MacCarthy S, Beckett MK, Orr N, Guerino P, Agniel D, Saunders CL, Schuster MA, Ng JH, Martino SC, "Using Ancillary Sociodemographic Data to Identify Sexual Minority Adults among Those Responding “Something Else” or “Don't Know” to Sexual Orientation Questions," Medical Care, 57(12), 2019

Breslau J, Elliott MN, Haviland AM, Klein DJ, Dembosky JW, Adams JL, Gaillot S, Horvitz-Lennon M, Schneider EC, "Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Attainment of Behavioral Health Quality Measures in Medicare Advantage Plans," Health Affairs, 37(10), 2018

Haas A, Elliott MN, Dembosky JW, Adams JL, Wilson-Frederick S, Mallett JS, Gaillot S, Haffer SC, Haviland AM, "Imputation of Race/Ethnicity to Enable Measurement of HEDIS Performance by Race/Ethnicity," Health Services Research, 54(1), 2018

Honors & Awards

  • Chair, RAND Distinguished Chair in Statistics and Health
  • Fellow, American Statistical Association
  • Top 1% of Cited Researchers 2002-2012, General Social Science, Thomas Reuters


  • Person filling out online survey, photo by Tero Vesalainen/Getty Images

    Collect Data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Health Surveys

    The Biden administration wants to promote programs and policies informed by science and to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. For researchers to confidently answer that call, the first step is for the government to consistently collect sexual orientation and gender identity data.

    Jun 25, 2021 Health Affairs

  • 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

  • A woman calling a nurse from her hospital bed

    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 New York Times