Leslie Conwell

Leslie Conwell

Principal Researcher

Leslie Conwell specializes in the evaluation of large models funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center. Currently, she is the deputy project director and implementation lead of the Primary Care First model. She also has served as principal investigator and implementation lead for both the Million Hearts® Model and the Second Round of the Health Care Innovation Awards. With a Ph.D. in health services research, she has applied her skills to a wide range of projects at Mathematica, including the development and testing of hospital and physician-based quality measures for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and supporting Pioneer and end-stage renal disease accountable care organizations through a learning system contract.

On the Primary Care First evaluation, Leslie is leading a team that is assessing the strategies used by participating practices to reduce hospitalizations and expenditures while improving quality for Medicare fee-for-services beneficiaries. She also is leading a team that is describing how payers are partnering with the CMS and offering a Primary Care First-like payment model to other insured populations.

As part of the evaluation of the second round of the Health Care Innovation Awards, she oversaw the implementation evaluation for 13 awardees. Additionally, her recent work focused on learning systems initiatives from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to support accountable care organizations (ACOs) and the development of hospital- and physician-based quality measures for the CMS.

Leslie oversaw the development and launch of a learning system to support CMMI’s proposed End-Stage Renal Disease Seamless Care Organizations and Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs, including creating a structure for training and peer-to-peer learning to help the Medicare ACOs achieve the triple aim of better care for patients, better health for populations, and lower health care costs. She also oversaw the design and development of a dashboard system to facilitate learning and monitoring among Pioneer ACOs.

Additionally, Leslie has been involved in all stages of the quality measure life cycle, from measure development to implementation. She was the deputy project director of a contract to lead the development of new electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) and the retooling of approximately 100 existing quality measures into eCQMs in support of the meaningful use of electronic health records by clinicians for CMS. In her other measure development work, Leslie oversaw efforts by partners to develop and test quality-of-care measures for prospective payment system-exempt cancer hospitals and inpatient psychiatric facilities. She also was the task lead for the production of risk-adjusted hospital mortality and readmission rates and hospital feedback reports on these measures, for public reporting on the Medicare Hospital Compare website.

Before joining Mathematica in 2007, Leslie worked at the Center for Studying Health System Change, Covance, and the Segal Company. She holds a Ph.D. in health services research from the Johns Hopkins University.

  • Program evaluations
  • Implementation science
  • Qualitative research
  • Health information technology
  • Learning systems for accountable care organizations
  • Developing clinical quality measures
  • Measurement of access to and quality of care
  • End-stage renal disease
Focus Area Topics
  • Health
  • Payment Reform
  • Delivery System Reforms
  • Medicare
  • Population Health

See Clearly. Act Quickly.

Our experts can help you make smart, sustainable decisions. From local to global challenges in health, human services, and international development, we’re here to improve public well-being and make progress together.

Work With Us