Harold S. Luft

All SHP People Visitors and Affiliates

Harold S. Luft, PhD

  • Director, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute
  • Caldwell B. Esselstyn Professor of Health Policy and Health Economics, Emeritus, UCSF
  • Adjunct Affiliate at the Center for Health Policy and the Department of Health Policy

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute
Ames Building
795 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94301

(650) 853-4821 (voice)


Harold S. Luft, PhD, is Director of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI). He is also the Caldwell B. Esselstyn Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Health Economics at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. He was Director of the Institute from 1993 through 2007. Professor Luft received his AB, MA, and PhD in economics (specializing in health sector economics and public finance) from Harvard University. His research has covered a wide range of areas, including medical care utilization, health maintenance organizations, hospital market competition, volume, quality and outcomes of hospital care, risk assessment and risk adjustment, and health care market reform. He has been involved in postdoctoral training for over 30 years, serving as co-director or associate director for three training programs sponsored jointly by UCSF and UC Berkeley and continues mentoring fellows at PAMFRI. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and served six years on the IOM Council. He chaired and was a member of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (now the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). He served on the board of AcademyHealth for 10 years and was senior associate editor and then co-editor of the journal of Health Services Research between 1997 and 2006. He has authored or co-authored and edited a number of books and authored or co-authored over 200 articles in scientific journals. His book, Total Cure: The Antidote to the Health Care Crisis, was published by Harvard University Press in October 2008.