Patricia M. Herman

Photo of Patricia Herman
Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in psychology and research methods, University of Arizona; N.D. in naturopathic medicine, Bastyr University; M.S. in agricultural economics, Iowa State University


Patricia Herman is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research centers on health economics, innovative care models, and overall quality of life. Herman is an NIH/NCCAM-trained methodologist, resource economist, and licensed naturopathic doctor. For more than 35 years, Herman has conducted policy and cost-effectiveness analyses concerning water rights, waste recycling, energy and water conservation, and health care.

Her cost-effectiveness projects include: nonpharmacologic therapies for chronic low back pain; yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction for low-back pain; tailored navigation for colorectal cancer screening; drug treatment alternatives to prison; integrative primary care; implementation support for evidence-based youth programs; and complementary and integrative therapies use in younger veterans with chronic pain.

Herman has written three books on economic evaluation methods; taught more than 100 workshops; published two systematic reviews of economic evaluations of complementary and integrative medicine; and coauthored a paper on the economics of integrative medicine for the IOM's 2009 Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public. She was awarded an R01 to examine the impact of including costs in determining appropriate care for chronic neck and back pain. Her other health services research projects include measuring the extent of complementary and integrative medicine use across the military health system, testing whether conjoint analysis improves the incorporation of behavioral health into primary care, the predictors and consequences of medical debt, and estimating the impacts of a statewide smoking ban. Herman received her Ph.D. in psychology program evaluation and research methods from the University of Arizona.

Selected Publications

Herman PM, Lavelle TA, Sorbero ME, Hurwitz EL, Coulter ID, "Are nonpharmacologic interventions for chronic low back pain more cost effective than usual care? Proof of concept results from a Markov model," Spine, 2019 (forthcoming)

Herman PM, Hurwitz EL, Shekelle PG, Whitley MD, Coulter ID, "Clinical Scenarios for which Spinal Mobilization and Manipulation Are Considered by an Expert Panel to be Inappropriate (and Appropriate) for Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain," Medical Care, 57(5), 2019

Herman PM, Broten N, Lavelle TA, Sorbero ME, Coulter ID, "Exploring the Prevalence and Characteristics of Patients with High-Impact Chronic Pain Across Chronic Low-Back Pain Study Samples," The Spine Journal, 2019 (forthcoming)

Herman PM, Broten N, Lavelle TA, Sorbero ME, Coulter ID, "Healthcare Costs and Opioid Use Associated with High-Impact Chronic Spinal Pain in the United States," Spine (forthcoming)

Herman PM, Anderson ML, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Turner JA, Cherkin DC, "Cost-Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Usual Care among Adults with Chronic Low-Back Pain," Spine, 42(20), 2017

Coulter ID, Crawford C, Hurwitz EL, Vernon H, Khorsan R, Booth MS, Herman PM, "Manipulation and mobilization for treating chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis," The Spine Journal, 18(5), 2018

Herman PM, Sorbero ME, Sims-Columbia AC, "Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Military Health System ," Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 23(11), 2017

Mahrer NE, Gold JI, Luu M, Herman PM, "A Cost-Analysis of an Interdisciplinary Pediatric Chronic Pain Clinic ," The Journal of Pain, 19(2), 2018