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David Auerbach is a health economist and has been studying the health care workforce for more than 20 years, primarily in collaboration with Drs. Douglas Staiger (Dartmouth) and Peter Buerhaus (Montana State University). This collaboration has resulted in numerous journal articles, media appearances, conference presentations and a book published in 2009 on the nursing workforce which has been used in nursing schools nationwide. He has worked with Drs. Staiger and Buerhaus continuously since 1997, while also introducing his knowledge and passion for nursing workforce issues into the numerous positions he has held, particularly those at RAND and the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, finding further avenues to advance research and influence policy. 

After graduating with his PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University in 2002, where his dissertation focused on aging and long-term care policy, he was a Principal Analyst with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) from 2003 through 2010 where he was a lead developer of CBO’s health insurance coverage micro-simulation model used in analysis of the Affordable Care Act. He then worked as a Senior Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation from 2010 through 2014, where he expanded the scope of his workforce research as principal investigator on projects including an investigation of the adoption of the Doctor of Nursing Practice by nursing education programs in the United States, a study of care utilization patterns of nurse practitioner/physician care teams compared to physician-led care in the Kaiser Health system in Georgia, and a study of primary care workforce implications of expanded adoption of patient centered medical homes and nurse-led clinics. 

Since 2014, Dr. Auerbach has been Deputy Director and now Senior Director for Research at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC). At the HPC, he has led a research team tasked with seeking to understand how health care delivery and efficiency can be improved in Massachusetts and making recommendations to policymakers. As an example of this work, his team authored a brief describing the contribution of Nurse Practitioners to primary care in Massachusetts and recommending removal of state scope of practice restrictions for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). These efforts were successful, and restrictions were removed in January 2021 in Massachusetts.

Dr. Auerbach is a nationally-recognized expert on the nursing workforce in particular, and is frequently sought by the media for commentary, at conferences as a speaker, and as a research collaborator.  Above all, he seeks to improve health care and health care delivery both for patients and for care providers.