Cara Orfield

Cara Orfield

Senior Researcher
Name Pronunciation CARE-uh OR-field
Pronouns she/her/hers

Cara Orfield studies health care programs and policies, with a focus on health equity, for families with low income and people without insurance. She has expertise in qualitative methods, including developing semistructured interview protocols, leading key informant interviews and focus groups, and coding and analyzing qualitative data.

Orfield has held leadership roles on multiple evaluations of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature research programs—Systems for Action, Evidence for Action, and Policies for Action—which are designed to identify and disseminate new evidence regarding the root causes of, and potential solutions for, inequitable health outcomes in America. Orfield played a key role on congressionally mandated evaluations and several studies focused on outreach and enrollment into public coverage. For an evaluation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Connecting Kids to Coverage grant program, she analyzed and reported on grantees’ performance and provided technical assistance to grantees on outreach and enrollment strategies. She led tasks on a Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission project assessing state Medicaid agencies’ barriers to and facilitators of meeting the congressionally mandated reporting of the Child Core Set quality measures and Adult Core Set behavioral health quality measures that will begin in 2024.

Orfield joined Mathematica in 2010 and has published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Obesity, American Journal of Public Health, The Foundation Review, and Academic Pediatrics. She holds an M.P.P. from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

  • Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Qualitative methods
  • Health equity
Focus Area Topics
  • Health
  • Medicaid and CHIP
  • State Health Policy

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