Steven A. Garfinkel

Adjunct Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management


Steven Garfinkel is an Institute Fellow at American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Director of AIR’s Office of Scientific Quality and Innovation. He has 43 years of experience in health services research, with a particular focus on health insurance coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance; health care outcomes and quality of care; and health care organization.

Since 1973, he has worked on more than 50 distinct contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements, including 15 demonstration evaluations funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and many CAHPS survey development projects, as project director (PD), principal investigator (PI), major task leader, or co-investigator. He is the PI for the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center for Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and Burn Injury, funded by the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. He is PI for the PCORI Translation Center. He was PI for AHRQ’s CAHPS I and CAHPS II cooperative agreements and PD for the AHRQ-funded project to Develop a CAHPS Survey for Cancer Care.

From 2012-16, he directed the $27 million CMS-funded project to develop the CAHPS surveys for the Health Insurance Marketplaces and Qualified Health Plans created by the Affordable Care Act. Before joining AIR in 2001, he directed the Center for Health Services, Economics and Policy Research at Research Triangle Institute.

He holds a doctorate in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Health Policy and Management and Research Fellow in the Sheps Center for Health Services Research.


  • BA, Political Science, Hunter College of the City University of New York, 1971
  • MPH, Health Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1972
  • PhD, Health Policy and Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992