Center for Studying Health Systems Change
600 Maryland Avenue, SW, #550
Washington, DC 20024
Peter J. Cunningham, PhD, is a senior fellow and director of quantitative research at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), Washington, DC. He has participated in the Community Tracking Study (CTS), a longitudinal study of the U.S. health care system funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that has been tracking changes in the health systems of 12 communities since 1996. As part of site visits to these communities, Dr. Cunningham has had extensive interviews with safety net providers—including hospital executives, federally qualified health center (FQHC) directors, and other free clinics—state and local policymakers, and other community organizations involved with care to the uninsured and low-income populations. Based on these interviews, he has published a number of papers and reports that describe the financial and competitive pressures that safety net providers encounter and the impact on access to care in the community.
At HSC, Dr. Cunningham has also been extensively involved with the design and analysis of household and physician surveys that track changes in the delivery of health care and patient access to care. His main areas of interest include trends in public and private health care coverage, access to medical care for the uninsured, the financial burden of medical care expenses, and physician charity care. The results of his research have appeared in HSC publications as well as a variety of health policy, health services research, and medical journals, including Health Affairs, Health Services Research, The Milbank Quarterly, JAMA, Medical Care, and Journal of General Internal Medicine. Prior to joining HSC in 1995, Dr. Cunningham was a researcher at the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, where he was extensively involved in the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey. He received his PhD degree in Sociology from Purdue University in 1988.