Robert F. Coulam

Senior Lecturer; Director, Research in Health Policy and Management

Phone: 617-521-2372
Office: M351


  • B.A. Harvard University
  • J.D. Harvard Law School
  • Ph.D. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University


Dr. Coulam has been an academic and researcher for almost 35 years. He was formerly a Principal at Abt Associates, where he managed large-scale research and evaluation projects on Medicare and Medicaid policy issues. He has been active in research efforts supporting recent federal initiatives to reform the Medicare program. Dr. Coulam's work has been published in Health Services Research, Health Affairs, Health Care Financing Review, Journal of Health Policy Politics and Law, and other health services research journals. At Simmons, his primary responsibilities are to enhance the program's research activities and funding and to teach courses in health policy, law, and economics. He also does work on international human rights, focused on issues of interrogation, morality, and terrorism.


  • Coulam, R. (2013). Skill versus Brutality in Interrogation: Lessons from Israel for American Policy. Intelligence and National Security, 28 (4), 566-590.
  • Coulam, R., Feldman, R., & Dowd, B. (2013). A Response to the Bipartisan Policy Center's Proposal for Competitive Bidding In Medicare. Health Affairs blog.
  • Dowd, B., Feldman, R., and Coulam, R. (2013). A Response to Burke, et al., Health Affairs blog.
  • Dowd, B., Swenson, T., Kane, R., Parashuram, S., & Coulam, R. (2013). Can Data Envelopment Analysis Provide a Scalar Index of Value? Health Economics, 24.
  • Dowd, B., Karmarker, M., Swenson, T., Parashuram, S., Kane, R., Robert Coulam, Molly Jeffrey (2013). Emergency Department Utilization as a Measure of Physician Performance. American Journal of Medical Quality, X, 1-9.
  • Dowd, B., Parashuram, S., Swenson, T., Kane, R., Coulam, R., David Knutson, UMN (2013). Value-Based Purchasing for Physician Services. Minnesota Medicine, 96 (4), 43-46.
  • Feldman, R., Dowd, B. and Coulam, R. (2013). A Competitive Bidding Approach to Medicare Reform. Paper in the series "Preserving Medicare for Future Generations: Market-Based Approaches to Reform," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Adam Atherly, Bryan Dowd, and Robert Coulam, "The Effect of Adult HIFA Waiver Expansions on Insurance Coverage of Children," Medical Care Research and Review (March 2012).
  • Robert Coulam, "Skill versus Brutality in Interrogation: Lessons from Israel for American Policy," Intelligence and National Security (forthcoming, October 2012).
  • Adam Atherly, Bryan E. Dowd, Robert F. Coulam, and Gery Guy, "The Effect of HIFA Waiver Expansions on Uninsurance Rates in Adult Populations," Health Services Research, 47:3 (June 2012), 939-962.
  • Roger Feldman, Robert Coulam, and Bryan Dowd, "Competitive Bidding Can Help Solve Medicare's Fiscal Crisis," Health Policy Outlook, American Enterprise Institute, No. 2 (February 2012).
  • Robert Coulam, Roger Feldman, and Bryan Dowd, "Competitive Pricing and the Problem of Cost Control in Medicare," Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law (August 2011).
  • Robert Coulam, Roger Feldman, and Bryan Dowd, Bring Competitive Prices to Medicare! Essential Reform at a Time of Fiscal Crisis (Washington D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 2009).
  • Gary Gaumer and Robert Coulam, "Geographic Variation in Minority Participation in Hospital Management in the United States," Hospital Topics, 87:2 (Spring 2009), 13-24.
  • Robert Coulam, "Approaches to Interrogation in the Struggle against Terrorism: Considerations of Cost and Benefit," in Robert Fein (ed.), Educing Information: Science and Art in Interrogation - Foundations for the Future (Washington, D.C.: Intelligence Science Board, Joint Military Intelligence College Press, 2007).
  • Bryan Dowd, Robert Coulam, Roger Feldman, and Steven Pizer, "Fee-for-Service Medicare in a Competitive Market Environment," Health Care Financing Review, 27:2 (Winter 2005-2006), 113-126.


  • Coulam, R. and Feldman, R. (2013). An overview of competitive bidding and Medicare reform. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/AEI sponsored presentation to Congressional staff, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC.
  • Coulam, R. and Feldman, R. (2013). Competitive Bidding and Medicare Reform. Seminar at the American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC.
  • Coulam, R. and Feldman, R. (2013). Competitive Bidding: the History in Medicare, and the Prospects. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation: Dinner for Senior Congressional Staff, Washington, DC.
  • Coulam, R. (2013). A Competitive Bidding Approach to Medicare Reform. Presentation to the National Health Policy Forum, Washington, DC.
  • Feldman, R., Dowd, B., & Coulam, R. (2013). A Competitive Bidding Approach to Medicare Reform. U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Briefing to CMMI Senior Management, Baltimore, Maryland.


  • U.S. Agency for Health Care Quality and Research, U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (multiple awards), Harvard Law School, National Center for Health Care Leadership.