Stephen Crystal, PhD

Director, Center for Health Services Research
Board of Governors Professor, School of Social Work, (848) 932-8579

Stephen Crystal (Ph. D., Harvard, 1981) is a Research Professor and Chair of the AIDS Policy Research Group at the Institute. He directs the Center for Health Services Research, focusing on pharmacotherapy, chronic disease management, and outcomes, as well as the Center for Health Services Research Development, funded under a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research and Quality (AHRQ). Dr. Crystal also serves as Associate Director for Research of the Center for State Health Policy. Dr. Crystal’s research group conducts a variety of studies addressing use, access, costs and outcomes of health care services, as well as research on policies and programs affecting the elderly. The group has published extensively on HIV treatment and on health care for the elderly. A growing area of the group’s work in recent years has focused prescription drug use, management, outcomes and policies. The research group has developed and utilized a number of large and rich research databases to support research in all of these critical areas. Dr. Crystal’s work over the years in both academic and non-academic settings has addressed a range of key issues in state and local health policy; he has worked extensively on the delivery of health care services through state Medicaid programs. His research and publications in the aging area include work on economic well-being of the elderly; long-term care of older people; insurance status and the impact of out-of-pocket health care costs; Medicare policy; and pharmaceutical drug policies for lower income elderly. He heads a team of investigators addressing HIV health services delivery issues. His research group has developed the capacity to carry out detailed studies of Medicaid health care utilization and outcomes using claims and other administrative files and has applied this expertise to a series of studies funded by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Aging, HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, the Commonwealth Fund, and other agencies and foundations. He currently heads an NIMH-funded national study of treatment for geriatric depression. His more than 200 publications include books on old-age policy and on home health care, and research articles, reviews and technical reports addressing a wide range of issues in old-age policy, health services research, long-term care for the elderly, pharmaceutical use, mental health services, and other topics related to healthcare and aging. He is a frequent advisor to federal, state and international health agencies and has served on numerous study sections and peer reviews. He has served as Visiting Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy and as Chief of the Division of Health Care Sciences at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he held a variety of senior positions in health services delivery in New York City government, managing major health and human services programs, and created and headed the Center for Human Services Research and Development, which conducted national studies in areas including home care and adult protective services. He has also served as an Urban Fellow in New York City’s Office of the Mayor, and consultant at the City’s Office of Management and Budget. His awards include the Abt Associates Prize for Public Policy Research and the John Kendrick Award for research on the economic status of the elderly.