James C. Robinson PhD, MPH

Leonard D. Schaeffer Endowed Chair in Health Economics and Policy
Director, Berkeley Center for Health Technology
Division Head, Health Policy & Management
  • Fellowship - Health Policy, University of California, San Francisco
  • PhD - Economics, University of California, Berkeley
  • MPH - Health Planning and Policy, University of California, Berkeley
  • BA - Economics and Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • PH 200J: Health Policy and Management Breadth Course
  • PH 222A: Health Care Technology Policy
  • PH 226A: Health Economics
Research Interests: 
  • Biotechnology policy and strategy
  • Innovation and affordability for medical technology
  • Cardiac and orthopedic devices
  • Health insurance
  • Physician and hospital payment methods
Current Projects: 
  • 2017-2020. Principal Investigator. Research project on the impact of reference pricing on consumer choices, employer spending, and prices paid for specialty and non-specialty drugs in the United States. Funds by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
  • 2016 – 2018. Principal Investigator. Research project on the application of reference pricing to prescription drug choice and pricing in the United States. Funded by Genentech and the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
  • 2016 – 2018. Principal Investigator. Research project on the impact of physician-hospital consolidation on the cost and quality of care in California. Funded by the California Public Employees Retirement System.
  • 2014 – 2016. Principal Investigator. Research project on impact of reference pricing on use and price of laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 
  • 2014 – 2018. Co-Principal Investigator. Research project on cost and quality impacts of reference pricing. Funded by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
  • 2008 – present. Director, Berkeley Center for Health Technology. Responsible for overall strategy and direction, setting research agenda and directing major projects, fundraising and sponsor relationships, working with staff to plan and deliver educational programs.
  • 2008 – present. Contributing Editor, Health Affairs. Support the editorial staff in planning new thematic issues, reviewing articles, maintaining relationships with sponsor organizations, and writing articles for peer review. 
Selected Publications: 

Robinson JC, Whaley C, Brown TT. Association of Reference Pricing with Drug Selection and Spending. New England Journal of Medicine 2017; 377:658-675.

Robinson JC. Medicare Advantage Reimbursement to Physicians. JAMA Internal Medicine 2017;177(9):1295-1296. Published online July 10. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.2689

Robinson JC, Whaley C, Brown TT. Reference Pricing Changes the Consumer Choice Architecture of Health Care. Health Affairs 2017; 36(3):524-530.

Robinson JC. Value-based Physician Payment in Oncology: Public and Private Insurer Initiatives. Milbank Quarterly 2017; 2017; 95(1):184-203.

Robinson JC, Whaley C, Brown TT.  Impact of Reference Pricing on Consumer Choices, Laboratory Prices, and Total Spending for Diagnostic Tests. JAMA Internal Medicine 2016;176(9):1353-1359. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2492. Published online July 25, 2016.

Robinson JC, Price A, Goldman Z.  The Redesign of Consumer Cost Sharing for Specialty Drugs at the California Health Insurance Exchange. American Journal of Managed Care 2016; 22(4):Supplement S87-S91.

Robinson JC, Brown TT, Whaley C, Bozic K.  Consumer Choice between Hospital-based and Freestanding Facilities for Arthroscopy. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2015; 97:1473-81.

Robinson JC. Purchasing Medical Innovation: The Right Technology, for the Right Patient, at the Right Price. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015.

Robinson JC, Brown TT, Whaley C. Reference-based Benefit Design Changes Consumers’ Choices and Employers’ Payments for Ambulatory Surgery. Health Affairs 2015; 34(3):415-22.

Hernandez J, Machacz SF, Robinson JC. US Hospital Payment Adjustments for Innovative Technology Lag Behind Those In Germany, France, and Japan. Health Affairs 2015; 34(2):261-270.

Robinson JC. Biomedical Innovation in the Era of Health Care Spending Constraints. Health Affairs 2015; 34(2):203-09.

Robinson JC, Miller K. Total Expenditures per Patient in Hospital-Owned and Physician-Owned Medical Groups in California. JAMA 2014; 312(16):1663-1669.

Robinson JC, Howell S. Specialty Pharmaceuticals: Policy Initiatives to Improve Assessment, Pricing, Prescription, and Use. Health Affairs 2014; 33(10):1745-1750.

Robinson JC, Brown TT. Quantifying Opportunities for Hospital Cost Control: Medical Device Purchasing and Patient Discharge Planning. American Journal of Managed Care 2014; 20(9):e418-e424.