Special Events

Special Events

All registered attendees are invited to attend the following events as part of your registration.



Sunday, June 10th, 2018

Opening Plenary: Riding the Winds of Change: Where Are We Going and How Do We Get There?
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Building: Emory Conference Center Hotel
Room: Lullwater Ballroom

Dr. Tuckson will examine the major contextual forces that define today’s healthcare landscape  and will explore the assumptions that will determine where we are going over the next three to five years.

Reed V. Tuckson, MD, FACP

Reed V. Tuckson, MD, FACP, is Managing Director of Tuckson Health Connections, LLC, a vehicle to advance initiatives that support optimal health and wellbeing through the intersection of individual and community health promotion and disease prevention; applied data and analytics; enhanced quality and efficiency in care delivery; and the application of telehealth and biotech innovations. Previously, he enjoyed a long tenure as Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs for UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 20 health and wellbeing company, which includes the nation’s largest health insurer and the industry’s most comprehensive health services company. A Section 16 officer of the company, Dr. Tuckson was a member of the Executive Operating Committee and responsible for oversight of the company’s Foundation. Dr. Tuckson is the author of “The Doctor in the Mirror”, an ongoing book and online senior patient activation and education project. He has been recognized several times by Modern Healthcare Magazine within its listing of the “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives” in healthcare and by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the “Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America”.


Opening Reception
Time: 7:30-9:00pm
Building: Emory Conference Center Hotel
Room: Great Hearth Room

Participants are encouraged to attend the opening reception following the Opening Plenary. Appetizers, beer, and wine will be served. Participants will receive two (2) drink tickets for the opening reception; a cash bar will be available to purchase additional beverages.


Monday, June 11th, 2018

Presidential Address and Membership Awards Luncheon: How Can Health Economists Best Contribute to Health Care Reform?

Time: 11:45am-1:15pm

Building: Emory Conference Center Hotel

Room: Salon I, II, & III (Lullwater Ballroom)


Jonathan Gruber

Jonathan Gruber, PhD is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992.  He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and President of the American Society of Health Economists. He has published more than 160 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel.  In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort.  Dr. Gruber is the Chair of the Industry Advisory Board for Flare Capital Partners and is on the board of the Health Care Cost Institute.


2018 ASHEcon Award Winners


Victor R. Fuchs Award: Thomas McGuire

Tom McGuire

Thomas G. McGuire, PhD, is the recipient of the 2018 ASHEcon Victor R. Fuchs Award. Since 2001, McGuire has been a professor of health economics in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. For 25 years prior, he worked in the Department of Economics at Boston University. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He was a coeditor of the Handbook of Health Economics Volume 2, and served for ten years as an editor of the Journal of Health Economics. McGuire’s research focuses on the design and impact of health care payment systems, the economics of health care disparities, the pharmaceutical sector, and the economics of mental health policy. His awards for research include the Arrow Award from the International Health Economics Association. He received the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

McGuire received his BA in economics from Princeton in 1971 and his Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1976.


ASHEcon Medal: Jonathan Kolstad & Benjamin Handel


Jonathan Kolstand, PhD is the recipient of the 2018 ASHEcon Medal. The award is given to an to the economist age 40 or under who has made the most significant contributions to the field of health economics.  Professor Kolstad is an Associate Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Kolstad is an economist whose research interests lie at the intersection of health economics, industrial organization and public economics. He is particularly interested in finding new models and unique data that can account for the complexity of markets in health care, notably the role of information asymmetries and incentives.


Ben Handel Picture

Benjamin Handel, PhD is the recipient of the 2018 ASHEcon Medal. The award is given to an to the economist age 40 or under who has made the most significant contributions to the field of health economics.  Benjamin Handel is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2010. He received his A.B. from Princeton and his Ph.D. from Northwestern. He was named a National Bureau of Economic Research faculty research fellow in industrial organization in 2011 and became a research associate in 2016, when he also became Co-Director of the NBER working group on insurance markets. He is an expert on health care business and policy and has worked with numerous businesses and policymakers in partnerships to research key topics in health care economics. Handel’s work is primarily concerned with the economic analysis of health insurance markets.


Willard Manning Award: Pat Bajari, Han Hong, Minjung Park and Robert Town, “Estimating Price Sensitivity of Economic Agents Using Discontinuity in Nonlinear Contracts”

Pat Bajari, Han Hong, Minjung Park and Robert Town are the recipients of the 2018 Willard Manning Award. The award memorializes Will Manning’s contributions to the development and application of econometric methods in health economics by recognizing the best published health economics research in econometric methodology or econometric application.

Professor Pat Bajari

Pat Bajari, PhD is Vice President and Chief Economist at Amazon. Since joining in 2010, he has helped Amazon build teams in econometrics, machine learning and research science. His team of econometricians and developers have worked on software that operates pricing, supply chain, operations, automated marketing, search and other systems at Amazon. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.


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Han Hong has been a Professor of Economics in Stanford University since 2007. His research interests focus on econometrics, industrial organization, and applied microeconomic analysis. He has published in top economics and econometrics journals on a wide range of research topics. In 2009 he was elected to be a member of the Econometric Society, an internationally recognized organization for economists and econometricians.  The Econometric Society has about 700 fellows worldwide in 2014. New members are elected each year through an anonymous voting process.  Professor Hong has also visited and taught in the University of Chicago, Beijing University, Renmin University, Zhongshan University, HongKong University of Science and Technology, and the Catholic Universite de Louvain in Belgium.  He is currently a co-editor of the Journal of Econometrics, a flagship journal for econometrics research.


Minjung Park is an empirical microeconomist with specialties in empirical industrial organization, microeconometrics and marketing. Her main research interest lies in firm behavior in a competitive marketplace and various strategies used by firms to attain the competitive edge. In her work, she employs structural models to analyze how firms respond to institutional and market incentives and how the strategic interactions influence market structure and consumer welfare. She is also interested in identification and estimation of time preferences in dynamic discrete choice models. She is currently an associate professor in the department of economics at Ewha Womans University in South Korea.


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Robert Town, PhD is an authority on competition economics with a focus on healthcare markets, mergers analysis, and the airline industry. His areas of expertise include health economics, industrial organization, and applied econometrics, with particular emphasis on mergers, hospital structure and efficiency, health insurance, and physician incentives. In his research, Professor Town studies provider and insurer competition, the role of competition in determining hospital quality, and healthcare market dynamics. In addition to articles in the Journal of Health Economics, Econometrica, American Economic Review, Health Affairs, and the Antitrust Bulletin, he has cowritten book chapters about healthcare provider competition and deregulated airlines. Professor Town is an associate editor at the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.


Student Paper Award: Emily Lawler, “Effectiveness of Vaccination Recommendations versus Mandates: Evidence from the hepatitis A vaccine”


Emily Lawler is the recipient of the 2018 ASHEcon Student Paper Award. The award is given to the best student sole-authored authored paper. Emily Lawler is a health economist whose research focuses on the effects of public policies on maternal and child health, both in the United States and the developing world. Her current work studies the effects of vaccination policies on health and health behaviors. Emily earned a B.S. in business and economics from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University.  In the fall she will join the University of Georgia, School of Public and International Affairs as an Assistant Professor.


Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Lunch Plenary: Economics and the Drug Pricing Debate

Time: 11:45am-1:15pm

Building: Emory Conference Center Hotel

Room: I, II, & III (Lullwater Ballroom)


Through presentation and moderated panel discussion, this plenary will tackle the economics and political issues of the current drug pricing debate.  Panelists will discuss the impact of recent trends in drug pricing, volume-based rebate contracting, and consolidation among payers, PBMs and pharmacies on total drug spending, patient out-of-pocket spending, market competition, and access. Included in the debate will be economic evidence gaps.  Panelists will also discuss the most promising policy approaches to better balance incentivizing and rewarding innovation with better value and access for patients.


Moderator: Gregory W. Daniel, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.Ph., Duke University


Gregory W. Daniel, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Gregory Daniel is the Deputy Director of the Duke-Robert J. Margolis, MD Center for Health Policy and a Clinical Professor in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Dr. Daniel directs the DC-based office of the Center and leads the Center’s pharmaceutical and medical device policy portfolio, which includes developing policy and data strategies for improving development and access to innovative pharmaceutical and medical device technologies. This includes post-market evidence development to support increased value, improving regulatory science and drug development tools, optimizing biomedical innovation, and supporting drug and device value-based payment reform. Dr. Daniel is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Previously, he was Managing Director for Evidence Development & Biomedical Innovation in the Center for Health Policy and Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and Vice President, Government and Academic Research at HealthCore (an Anthem, Inc. company).  In addition to health and pharmaceutical policy, Dr. Daniel’s research expertise includes real world evidence (RWE) development utilizing electronic health data in the areas of health outcomes and pharmacoeconomics, comparative effectiveness, and drug safety and pharmacoepidemiology. Dr. Daniel received a PhD in pharmaceutical economics, policy and outcomes from the University of Arizona, as well as an MPH, MS, and BS in Pharmacy all from The Ohio State University.


Rena M. Conti, PhD

Rena M. Conti, is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Economics in the Department of Pediatrics, section of hematology/oncology, and the Department of Public Health Studies at the University of Chicago. Dr. Conti is a 2006 graduate of the Harvard University Interfaculty Initiative in health policy and an elected member of the Conference on Research on Income and Wealth. She currently serves on the Government Affairs committee for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Conti’s research is on the financing, organization and regulation of medical care. She is an expert on the demand for, supply of and pricing of prescription drugs, particularly those used to treat cancer and other “specialty” conditions. She has published numerous studies estimating the annual costs of cancer treatments for patients and insurers. She has published several studies on what factors determine the pricing of branded and generic prescription drugs and the intended and unintended consequences of the 340B drug discount program. She is interested in using classic economic theory to guide policy making on the expansion of new drug development and patient access to existing drugs.


Liz Fowler, PhD, JD

Image result for Liz Fowler, PhD, JD johnson and johnson

Elizabeth “Liz” Fowler is Vice President, Global Health Policy, in the Government Affairs & Policy group at Johnson & Johnson. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Liz was special assistant to President Obama on healthcare and economic policy at the National Economic Council.  She joined NEC after serving as Deputy Director for Policy of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (OCIIO) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the new agency tasked with implementing the insurance market reforms included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). During the health reform debate, Liz served as Chief Health Counsel and Senior Counsel to the Chair to Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), where she played a critical role in developing the Senate version of health reform. In a previous stint with the Finance Committee, she also played a key role in the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA).


 Bernie Good, MD, MPH

Chester “Bernie” Good is an internist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In December 2017 he joined the UPMC Health Plan as the Senior Medical Director for the Center for Value Based Pharmacy Initiatives, after serving as the Chairperson for the Medical Advisory Panel for Pharmacy Benefits Management for the Department of Veterans Affairs from 1999-2017. Dr. Good is also a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh, and previously served as a board member for the FDA Drug Safety Board (2005-2018) and was a member of the Therapeutic Information and Formulary Support Expert Committee for the US Pharmacopeia from 2013-2015. He is widely published in the areas of formulary management, drug safety, conflicts of interest, and health disparities. Dr. Good is proud of his 3 grown children, 4 small grandchildren, and 3 chickens.


Poster Reception

Time: 5:15-7:00pm

Building: Emory Conference Center Hotel

Room: Lullwater Ballroom

 Poster presentations will be held during a heavy hors d’oeuvre reception. All attendees are encouraged to attend and connect with presenting authors over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Participants will receive two (2) drink tickets for the event; a cash bar will be available to purchase additional tickets.