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Tools for Monitoring the Health Care Safety Net

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About the Editors

John Billings, J.D.

Mr. Billings is an associate professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and the director of the school's Center for Health and Public Service Research. His recent work has involved analyzing patterns of hospital admission rates and emergency department utilization as tools for evaluating access barriers to outpatient care and for assessing the performance of the ambulatory care delivery system. Mr. Billings is the coprincipal investigator on the Safety Net Assessment Project, an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine the performance of health care safety nets in 70 U.S. cities. He is also the principal investigator on a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to assess models for delivering primary care to low-income populations and is coprincipal investigator on an effort with Columbia University and the United Hospital Fund of New York to evaluate the impact of Medicaid managed care in New York City. In addition, Mr. Billings is the principal investigator on a project supported by the Commonwealth Fund to monitor use of emergency departments by uninsured patients in New York City and to learn more about the factors that contribute to emergency room use for conditions that are non-emergent or that could be treated effectively in a primary care setting. Mr. Billings was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Changing Market, Managed Care, and the Future Viability of Safety Net Providers, which issued its report America's Health Care Safety Net: Intact But Endangered in 2000. Mr. Billings was also a member of the IOM Committee on Monitoring Access to Personal Health Care Services, which issued its report Access to Health Care in America in 1993. Mr. Billings holds a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. E-mail:

Robin M. Weinick, Ph.D.

Dr. Weinick is a senior research scientist and the senior advisor on safety nets and low-income populations at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Her research focuses on the access to and use of health care services in the United States, with a particular emphasis on emergency department use and racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in care. In addition, she leads the Safety Net Monitoring Initiative. Previously, Dr. Weinick was responsible for developing a research agenda and a research review process for the Agency's Center for Primary Care Research; in AHRQ's Center for Cost and Financing Studies, she played an active role in the development of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. For this large, nationally representative survey of health care use and expenditures, her responsibilities spanned all phases of the survey process, including questionnaire design, pretesting, interviewer training, evaluation, data editing, and data release activities for the household component of the survey.

Dr. Weinick has also been extensively involved in providing technical assistance both within and outside of the Agency. Her research has been published in a variety of journals, including Health Services Research, Academic Emergency Medicine, Medical Care Research and Review, American Journal of Public Health, Ambulatory Pediatrics, Health Affairs, and American Journal of Managed Care. She received her doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University.

Return to Tools for Monitoring the Safety Net

Current as of September 2003
AHRQ Publication No. 03-0027


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