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    Last Name

    Barry G Saver MD, MPH

    TitleAssociate Professor
    InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    DepartmentFamily Medicine and Community Health
    AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    55 Lake Avenue North
    Worcester MA 01655
      Other Positions
      InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
      DepartmentClinical Population Health Research



        Dr. Saver joined the department after serving 15 years (with time off for good behavior) as faculty at the University of Washington.After college, he carried out obscure enzyme kinetics experiments for 3 years before abandoning research forever to go to medical school and become a family doctor. After residency, he worked in community settings for 3 years in the Bay Area. Frustration with difficulty obtaining services for his indigent patients led him to get an MPH in Seattle and, eventually, he ended up back in research along with practicing in public sector settings and teaching. In his spare time, he tries to help raise 2 boys and endangered Asian box turtles (in separate enclosures, of course) and occasionally produces poorly-drawn cartoons.


        Dr. Saver is happy to discuss research interests and ideas with anyone who can’t be convinced to do something more useful and productive with his or her life. Ideally, but not necessarily, this would at least vaguely overlap with some of his research interests and experiences as outlined above.


        Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, M.D., 1983
        Family Medicine Residency: UCLA Center for Health Sciences, 1986
        Preventive Medicine Residency: University of Washington, School of Public Health
        and Community Medicine, M.P.H., 1991


        Dr. Saver has a wide range of research interests, including traditional health services research on issues of access, cost, and quality for disadvantaged populations, and cost-effective interventions for improving care for common conditions encountered in primary care. He has conducted research in a variety of areas including access to care and health insurance, racial and ethnic disparities in health care, effects of financial incentives on health care costs, quality, and utilization, use of preventive services, tobacco cessation, childhood asthma, and prescription drug benefits, costs, and utilization. Currently, he is particularly interested in developing and testing interventions that empower patients to take a more active role in managing their health conditions.

        Scholarly Activity

        Project Director, co-Investigator, “Breast Cancer Policy and Practice.” Funded by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, grant number R01 HS06545, 9/1/91-9/30/94, Thomas R. Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator. Study of physician policies and practices in mammography screening.

        Principal Investigator, “Access to Ambulatory Care by the Indigent.” Funded by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, grant number R03 HS07253, 9/30/93-9/29/96, $49,993. Analysis of access to care data measures using the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey.

        Project Director, co-Investigator, “Physicians’ Policies in Preventive Hormone Therapy.” Funded by the National Institute on Aging, R01 AG12381, 9/30/94-3/31/98, Thomas R. Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator. Study of physician and patient decision making in utilization of postmenopausal hormone therapy.

        Project Director, co-Investigator, “Antitrust Issues in Rural Managed Care.” L. Gary Hart, Ph.D., Principal Investigator. Subcontract with Washington State Department of Health on Robert Wood Johnson Foundation State Health Reform Grant to Washington State, 4/1/96-12/31/96.

        Project Director, co-Investigator, “Barriers to Residency Training in Rural Areas.” With L. Gary Hart and other members of the WAMI Rural Health Research Center, funded by a Center grant from the Office of Rural Health Policy, HRSA, 4/1/97-9/30/97.

        Project Director, co- Investigator, “Decision Support for Preventive Hormone Therapy.” Funded by the National Instituted on Aging and the National Institute for Nursing Research, R01 AG12381-04A1, 4/1/98-4/30/03, $1,239,566. Thomas R. Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator. Project to develop and test a Web-based decision support to help women with health decisions during and after the menopause.

        Principal Investigator, “Investigation into Specialty Payment: Effects on Costs and Treatments” (“INSPECT”). Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 5/1/98-10/31/00, $365,581. Study of effects of different methods of paying for specialty services by HMOs on services received by patients and costs of care.

        Principal Investigator, “Uninsured in America: Individual and Community Factors.” Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 3/1/99-5/31/00, $100,768. Study of effects of individual, community, and state-level factors on the decision to purchase individual health insurance and on access to care by uninsured persons.

        Principal Investigator, “Prescription Benefits as a Quality Measure.” Funded by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, grant number 1 R01 HS10318, 9/30/99-9/29/02, $617,145. Study of how health care quality and outcomes for Medicare enrollees in an HMO are affected by having or not having coverage for prescription medications and the level of coverage for those with this benefit.

        Project Director, co-Investigator, “Sustained Treatments Over the Perinatal Period (STOPP).” Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Smoke Free Families initiative, 10/00-12/03. Mark P. Doescher, MD, MSPH, Principal Investigator. Randomized, controlled trial among pregnant women who smoke and have family members who smoke of proactive nurse outreach with motivational interviewing, urinary cotinine feedback, and free nicotine replacement therapy for family members.

        Co-Investigator, “Prescription Benefits and Costs of Care.” Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization initiative, 11/1/00-04/30/03, $100,000. Mark P. Doescher, MD, MSPH, Principal Investigator. Extend AHCPR/AHRQ-funded prescription benefits analyses to include associations with costs of care, both for medications and total costs of care.

        Principal Investigator, “Bridging the Gap – Using Qualitative Approaches to Understand and Address Quantitative Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health.” Advanced Research Training Grant from the American Academy of Family Physicians, 9/01-8/03, $99,997.

        Co-Investigator, “Asthma RAPPORT (Registry and Phone: Patient Outcomes Research Trial).” Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Improving Chronic Illness Care Initiative, 3/01-5/03, $118,517. Mark P. Doescher, MD, MSPH, Principal Investigator. RCT of registry creation and proactive telephone-based outreach to improve asthma care for children attending Washington State community and migrant health centers.

        Co-Principal Investigator, “Evaluation of Credentialing, Privileging and Peer Review Options for Critical Access Hospitals.” Contract N11390 with the Washington State Department of Health, 11/02-8/03, $40,000. Contract to explore options for Washington State Critical Access Hospitals to meet Medicare requirements for credentialing and quality assurance activities.

        Co-Investigator, “Paying for Performance: The Effects of Incentives on the Quality of Health Services.” Funded by the Center for Health Management Research, 1/1/03-9/30/04, $164,000. Douglas Conrad, PhD, MBA, MHA, Principal Investigator. Quantitative/qualitative study of “payment for quality” incentives in medical groups associated with health organizations in 8 different market areas across the US.

        Principal Investigator, “Do Statins Ameliorate Periodontal Disease?” Funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, grant number 1 R21 DE015619-01, 12/03-11/06, $200,000. Epidemiologic study seeking to determine whether use of statins ameliorates the course of chronic periodontal disease.

        Co-Investigator, “The Non-Cancer Care of Elderly Colorectal Cancer Patients.” Funded by the National Cancer Institute, grant number 1 R01 CA104935-01, 4/15/04-2/28/07. Study of the influence of a stage 1-3 colorectal cancer diagnosis on receipt of preventive and chronic illness care by Medicare beneficiaries.

        Co-Investigator, “Role of Physicians and Their Groups in Cancer Screening.” Funded by the National Cancer Institute, grant number 1 R21 CA104264-01A1, 9/1/04-8/31/06, $180,000. George Wright, PhD, Principal Investigator. Study seeking to map practicing physicians to their medical groups and evaluate how much group affiliation predicts performance of cancer screening.

        selected publications
        List All   |   Timeline
        1. Saver BG, Weinreb L, Gelberg L, Zerger S. Provision of contraceptive services to homeless women: results of a survey of health care for the homeless providers. Women Health. 2012 Mar 30; 52(2):151-61.
          View in: PubMed
        2. Dobie S, Saver BG, Wang CY, Green PK, Baldwin LM. Do primary care physicians lose contact with their colorectal cancer patients? J Am Board Fam Med. 2011 Nov; 24(6):704-9.
          View in: PubMed
        3. Saver BG, Hargraves JL, Mazor KM. Are population-based diabetes models useful for individual risk estimation? J Am Board Fam Med. 2011 Jul-Aug; 24(4):399-406.
          View in: PubMed
        4. Baldwin LM, Dobie SA, Cai Y, Saver BG, Green PK, Wang CY. Receipt of general medical care by colorectal cancer patients: a longitudinal study. J Am Board Fam Med. 2011 Jan-Feb; 24(1):57-68.
          View in: PubMed
        5. Gavagan TF, Du H, Saver BG, Adams GJ, Graham DM, McCray R, Goodrick GK. Effect of financial incentives on improvement in medical quality indicators for primary care. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010 Sep-Oct; 23(5):622-31.
          View in: PubMed
        6. Saver B. One system for electronic health records. Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Jun; 29(6):1273.
          View in: PubMed
        7. Saver BG, Dobie SA, Green PK, Wang CY, Baldwin LM. No pain, but no gain? The disappearance of angina hospitalizations, 1992-1999. Med Care. 2009 Oct; 47(10):1106-10.
          View in: PubMed
        8. Wang CY, Baldwin LM, Saver BG, Dobie SA, Green PK, Cai Y, Klabunde CN. The contribution of longitudinal comorbidity measurements to survival analysis. Med Care. 2009 Jul; 47(7):813-21.
          View in: PubMed
        9. Saver B. Racial disparities in diabetes and physicians: lack of association does not indicate cause or cure. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Jan 26; 169(2):203-4; author reply 204.
          View in: PubMed
        10. Hujoel PP, Cunha-Cruz J, Maupome G, Saver B. Long-term use of medications and destructive periodontal disease. J Periodontol. 2008 Aug; 79(8):1330-8.
          View in: PubMed
        11. Saver BG, Gustafson D, Taylor TR, Hawkins RP, Woods NF, Dinauer S, Casey S, MacLaren-Loranger A. A tale of two studies: the importance of setting, subjects and context in two randomized, controlled trials of a web-based decision support for perimenopausal and postmenopausal health decisions. Patient Educ Couns. 2007 May; 66(2):211-22.
          View in: PubMed
        12. Saver BG, Hujoel PP, Cunha-Cruz J, Maupomé G. Are statins associated with decreased tooth loss in chronic periodontitis? J Clin Periodontol. 2007 Mar; 34(3):214-9.
          View in: PubMed
        13. Saver BG, Van-Nguyen V, Keppel G, Doescher MP. A qualitative study of depression in primary care: missed opportunities for diagnosis and education. J Am Board Fam Med. 2007 Jan-Feb; 20(1):28-35.
          View in: PubMed
        14. Conrad DA, Saver BG, Court B, Heath S. Paying physicians for quality: evidence and themes from the field. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2006 Aug; 32(8):443-51.
          View in: PubMed
        15. Boudreau DM, Doescher MP, Saver BG, Jackson JE, Fishman PA. Reliability of Group Health Cooperative automated pharmacy data by drug benefit status. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2005 Dec; 14(12):877-84.
          View in: PubMed
        16. Saver BG. Quality of care in U.S. hospitals. N Engl J Med. 2005 Oct 27; 353(17):1860-1; author reply 1860-1.
          View in: PubMed
        17. Jackson JE, Doescher MP, Saver BG, Hart LG. Trends in professional advice to lose weight among obese adults, 1994 to 2000. J Gen Intern Med. 2005 Sep; 20(9):814-8.
          View in: PubMed
        18. Saver BG. Attracting students to primary care. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jan 6; 352(1):93-5; author reply 93-5.
          View in: PubMed
        19. Hujoel PP, Cunha-Cruz J, Selipsky H, Saver BG. Abnormal pocket depth and gingival recession as distinct phenotypes. Periodontol 2000. 2005; 39:22-9.
          View in: PubMed
        20. Jackson JE, Doescher MP, Saver BG, Fishman P. Prescription drug coverage, health, and medication acquisition among seniors with one or more chronic conditions. Med Care. 2004 Nov; 42(11):1056-65.
          View in: PubMed
        21. Saver BG. Commentary on "Opportunities and challenges for measuring cost, quality, and clinical effectiveness in health care": the fault lies not in our stars but in our system. Med Care Res Rev. 2004 Sep; 61(3 Suppl):151S-60S.
          View in: PubMed
        22. Doescher MP, Saver BG, Fiscella K, Franks P. Preventive care. J Gen Intern Med. 2004 Jun; 19(6):632-7.
          View in: PubMed
        23. Boudreau DM, Doescher MP, Jackson JE, Fishman PA, Saver BG. Impact of healthcare delivery system on where HMO-enrolled seniors purchase medications. Ann Pharmacother. 2004 Jul-Aug; 38(7-8):1317-8.
          View in: PubMed
        24. Saver BG, Ritzwoller DP, Maciosek M, Goodman MJ, Conrad DA, Finkelstein E, Haase M, Barrett P, Cain KC. Does payment drive procedures? Payment for specialty services and procedure rate variations in 3 HMOs. Am J Manag Care. 2004 Mar; 10(3):229-37.
          View in: PubMed
        25. Saver BG, Doescher MP, Jackson JE, Fishman P. Seniors with chronic health conditions and prescription drugs: benefits, wealth, and health. Value Health. 2004 Mar-Apr; 7(2):133-43.
          View in: PubMed
        26. Fiscella K, Franks P, Doescher MP, Saver BG. Do HMOs affect educational disparities in health care? Ann Fam Med. 2003 Jul-Aug; 1(2):90-6.
          View in: PubMed
        27. Saver BG, Doescher MP. Managing asthma should not focus on dust mite control. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Feb 1; 67(3):465-6; author reply 466.
          View in: PubMed
        28. Saver BG, Doescher MP, Symons JM, Wright GE, Andrilla CH. Racial and ethnic disparities in the purchase of nongroup health insurance: the roles of community and family-level factors. Health Serv Res. 2003 Feb; 38(1 Pt 1):211-31.
          View in: PubMed
        29. Doescher MP, Whinston MA, Goo A, Cummings D, Huntington J, Saver BG. Pilot study of enhanced tobacco-cessation services coverage for low-income smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2002; 4 Suppl 1:S19-24.
          View in: PubMed
        30. Fiscella K, Franks P, Doescher MP, Saver BG. Disparities in health care by race, ethnicity, and language among the insured: findings from a national sample. Med Care. 2002 Jan; 40(1):52-9.
          View in: PubMed
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