Faculty Directory

James Frank Wharam

Associate Professor

Frank Wharam, MD, MPH is a general internist and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. He is the Director of the Division of Health Policy and Insurance Research and holds the inaugural Martin Robison Delany endowed chair in the Department of Population Medicine. Dr. Wharam has leading expertise on the effects of commercial health insurance designs such as high-deductible health plans (HDHP), consumer-directed health plans (CDHP), and value-based insurance designs (VBID). He uses rigorous study designs to determine how health policies and system interventions affect healthcare quality and outcomes, especially among vulnerable populations. His studies have focused on low-income patients, users of opioids, and individuals with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and bipolar disorder. He has expertise in analyzing natural experiments, quasi-experimental research design, and using large administrative databases to conduct observational studies. As Principal Investigator of multiple R01-level projects, his work often examines patient financial incentives and health outcomes. He currently leads Harvard’s 5-year Natural Experiments in Diabetes Translation 3.0 project and an assessment of the 2019 coronavirus pandemic in New England. His conceptual writing focuses on the intersection of health policy and ethics. Dr. Wharam cares for patients in the Harvard Vanguard-Atrius system.


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