Michael J. O'Grady, Ph.D., former HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, has joined the West Health Policy Center as its inaugural president. Launched by philanthropists Gary and Mary West earlier this year, the Center's mission is to develop common sense reimbursement and regulatory proposals to save the U.S. more than $100 billion in cumulative health care costs within 10 years.
O'Grady was widely recognized for increasing the rigor of HHS’ analytic and scientific work and ensuring that rigorous, accurate and reliable data and analysis informed the Administration's decisions.
The Center's main activities include conducting independent, non-partisan research and analysis; convening and educating stakeholders; and advancing practical and actionable health policy. It is part of a larger initiative, including WWHI and the West Health Investment Fund, created by Gary and Mary West to lower the cost of health care.
O'Grady is one of the country's leading health policy experts, with 24 years working in senior policy and research positions in both Congress and the Administration. As assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, he directed both policy development and policy research, and provided rapid, critical analyses of legislative and regulatory proposals.
Previously, O'Grady held senior staff positions at the Senate Finance Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, the Bipartisan Commission for the Future of Medicare, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress.
"Our nation's healthcare costs are rising at an unsustainable rate," said O'Grady. "Gary and Mary West have created a unique ecosystem to develop innovative and practical policy options that will slow the growth of healthcare spending to a level the American people can actually afford. That was an irresistible draw for me, and I look forward to working with the excellent team they have brought together."
After leaving HHS in 2006, O'Grady served as a senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago and as a principal at O'Grady Health Policy, where he concentrated on health policy research and analysis for public and private organizations.
He also served as principal investigator for the cost effectiveness team of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's continuous glucose monitor project.
In addition, O'Grady served on the board of scientific counselors at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics and is currently chair of the National Academies of Sciences/Institute of Medicine's panel on measuring medical care risk in conjunction with the new supplemental poverty measure.