Eric W. Christensen, PhD

Director of Economics and Health Services Research & Adjunct Professor, Health Services Management at The University of Minnesota
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Dr. Christensen is the Director of Economic and Health Services Research for the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute (HPI). Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor of Health Services Management at the University of Minnesota. He has over 20 years of experience as a health economist. Prior to working at the Neiman HPI, he led an interdisciplinary research team at the Center for Naval Analyses conducting research for various government agencies, served as the health economist for Children’s Minnesota hospital system and engaged in private consulting.

Dr. Christensen’s recent research has focused on the economic drivers of health disparities and the role of reimbursement in disparities, the role of treatment and imaging in cost growth in stroke care, and the association of non-physician practitioners in imaging ordering and interpretation patterns. His research and consulting have covered an array of health care delivery and policy questions from the standpoints of cost of imaging, non-physician practitioners and imaging, accountable care organizations, population health, cost-effectiveness, medical homes, interventions, infrastructure, financial performance under various reimbursement models, demonstrating the value of specific clinical approaches, determining the return on investment, and demonstrating the economic impact of health systems on the local economy.

Dr. Christensen has worked extensively with internal and external stakeholders. In addition to professional conferences, he has presented research and analytic findings to senior government leaders and corporate executives. This includes testimony before U.S. Senate and U.S. House committees, the congressionally appointed Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission, and the DOD Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care.

Dr. Christensen received his PhD in economics from the University of Illinois. He has a master’s degree in economics from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in business management (finance) from Brigham Young University.

Selected Publications

Christensen EW, Liu CM, Duszak R, Hirsch JA, Swan TL, Rula EY. Association of State Share of Non-Physician Practitioners with Diagnostic Imaging Ordering Among Emergency Department Visits for Medicare Beneficiaries. JAMA Network Open, 2022; 5(11): e2241297.

Eric W. Christensen, Mikki Waid, Jinel Scott, Bhavika K. Patel, Jacqueline A. Bello, Elizabeth Y. Rula. 2022. "Relationship between Race and Access to Newer Mammographic Technology in Women with Medicare Insurance," Radiology

Kharbanda AB, Christensen EW, Dudley NC, Bajaj L, Stevenson MD, Macias CG, Mittal MK, Bachur RG, Bennett JE, Sinclair K, McMichael B, Dayan PS; Pediatric Emergency Medicine Collaborative Research Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Economic Analysis of Diagnostic Imaging in Pediatric Patients With Suspected Appendicitis. Acad Emerg Med. 2018 Jul;25(7):785-794. doi: 10.1111/acem.13387. Epub 2018 Mar 24. PMID: 29427374.

Christensen EW, Payne NR. Effect of Attribution Length on the Use and Cost of Health Care for a Pediatric Medicaid Accountable Care Organization. JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Feb;170(2):148-54. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.3446. PMID: 26661275.

Christensen EW, Payne NR. Pediatric Inpatient Readmissions in an Accountable Care Organization. J Pediatr. 2016 Mar;170:113-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.11.022. Epub 2015 Dec 10. PMID: 26685071.