Debra Lipson

Debra Lipson

Senior Fellow
  • State health policy
  • Medicaid managed care and financing issues
  • Delivery and quality of long-term care services
Focus Areas
  • Health
  • Long-Term Services and Supports
  • Medicaid and CHIP
  • State Health Policy
About Debra

Debra Lipson has more than 30 years of experience as a health policy researcher and analyst. Her research focuses on Medicaid and state health policy, managed care for vulnerable populations, and long-term services and supports (LTSS) for older adults and people with disabilities.

She has expertise in qualitative research methods and comparative policy analysis. For the past five years, she has directed a multi-faceted technical assistance project for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to strengthen federal and state oversight of Medicaid managed care programs, health homes, and integrated delivery systems for vulnerable populations. She also recently launched and directed a multi-year, multi-million dollar project funded by CMS, to develop new quality measures for Medicaid programs serving vulnerable beneficiaries, including Medicare-Medicaid dual enrollees and long-term services and supports beneficiaries. She has conducted studies of state oversight of Medicaid managed LTSS and state Medicaid rate-setting methods for MLTSS programs and those serving dual enrollees. She has conducted studies on care coordination models, such as patient-centered medical homes for patients with complex needs, and collaborations between health and housing agencies to secure housing with supports for people with disabilities.

From 2007 to 2014, Lipson served as co-investigator on the national evaluation of the Money Follows the Person Demonstration, analyzing state grantees’ implementation progress and challenges in trying to relocate elderly and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries living in institutions to home- and community-based care. She has also led research projects examining state health insurance initiatives, consumer health advocacy, and Medicaid efficiency.

Before coming to Mathematica, Lipson held senior positions at several research institutes, including the Institute for the Future of Aging Services (now LeadingAge Center for Applied research), the Alpha Center, and the Intergovernmental Health Policy Project at George Washington University. From 1997 to 2002, she was a health policy analyst at the World Health Organization, where she studied international trade in health services, the effects of global trade rules on national health policy, and the effects of poverty reduction efforts on health. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and holds a master’s in health services administration and health policy from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.

Key Projects
  • Health Reform in Maine: DirigoChoice

    In 2003, Maine enacted comprehensive health care reform focusing on an insurance premium subsidy program called DirigoChoice. It offered more affordable insurance options to small businesses, subsidized premiums for families with low to moderate income, and expanded Medicaid eligibility to low-income...

Latest News
  • Sheila Hoag
    Lessons on Health Philanthropy

    Mathematica Policy Research’s experts offer lessons learned from evaluations of foundation-funded health projects in three articles published in the most recent issue of The Foundation Review.

  • Mathematica Appoints New Senior Fellows

    Mathematica is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine DesRoches, Debra Lipson, and Lorenzo Moreno as senior fellows. This title recognizes the national reputations they have built as thought leaders in their fields, as well as their strong leadership in helping us achieve our mission of informing...