Kristina Lowell

Kristina Hanson Lowell is a vice president and senior fellow in the Health Care Evaluation Department at NORC.

She has almost three decades of experience and policy expertise in the areas of Medicare and Medicaid, payment reform, chronic care improvement, disability issues, and health information technology (IT). Lowell has directed numerous large-scale quantitative and qualitative studies on behalf of state and federal government agencies, not-for-profit and consumer organizations, academic researchers, foundations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and professional associations. These studies have included quantitative analyses of secondary data such as Medicare and Medicaid claims and primary data collected through original surveys; and qualitative work, including focus groups, structured interviews, and site visits with aging and low-income populations, individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities, health-care providers, federal and state legislators, and other policymakers.

Among her ongoing projects at NORC, Lowell is the Project Director of the evaluations of the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (NGACO) Model and the ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (REACH) Model for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She is also the Principal Investigator for the Disability Perceptions Survey, which NORC is leading for the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

Prior to joining NORC, Lowell was a Research Director at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution, where she focused on health IT, payment and delivery-system reform, and long-term care. Lowell directed a two-year project for the Markle Foundation designed to build an infrastructure for the development of better evidence on how payment reforms and health IT can be used to improve care and health outcomes for people with chronic conditions. While at Brookings, Lowell also helped coordinate the formation and launch of the Long-Term Quality Alliance, a multi-stakeholder effort dedicated to fostering the implementation of quality measures across the range of long-term services and supports. Lowell was previously a senior analyst in the Office of Policy at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), where she managed the Office’s Medicare Part D portfolio, including empirical studies of beneficiary savings, access, and program spending; monitoring and improvement of the Part D Plan Finder tool; and the launch of an on-line consumer resource on Prescription Drug Patient Assistance Programs. She served as a Part D liaison between the Office of the Administrator, other parts of the Agency and DHHS, Capitol Hill, and a range of consumer and stakeholder organizations. Prior to CMS, Lowell was a Senior Research Manager at Harris Interactive, where she directed large-scale quantitative and qualitative health-policy studies and surveys, including a gap analysis survey of people with and without disabilities. Lowell was also a Senior Policy Analyst at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drugs, and disability policy. Lowell has served as an Instructor at Harvard College and as a Teaching Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Lowell has published research in peer-reviewed publications on access to care under Medicaid, state variations in the coverage and delivery of mental-health and substance-abuse services under Medicaid managed care, public attitudes concerning mental illness, and innovative approaches to payment- and delivery-system reform such as accountable care organizations (ACOs).