Uwe Reinhardt

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Uwe Reinhardt
104年3月17日 馬英九總統主持贈勳典禮-頒授美國哈佛大學蕭慶倫博士、普林斯頓大學經濟學教授任赫德博士「紫色大綬景星勳章」 (16841293122) (cropped).jpg
BornSeptember 24, 1937
Osnabrück, Germany
DiedNovember 14, 2017(2017-11-14) (aged 80)
Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorRichard Ruggles[1]

Uwe Ernst Reinhardt (September 24, 1937 – November 14, 2017) was a professor of political economy at Princeton University and held several positions in the healthcare industry.[2] [3] Reinhardt was a prominent scholar in health care economics and a frequent speaker and author on subjects ranging from the war in Iraq[4][5] to the future of Medicare.


Reinhardt was born 1937 in Osnabrück, Germany, and later emigrated to Canada where he received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of Saskatchewan.[6] He later received a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University[6] in 1970, with a thesis titled "An Economic Analysis of Physicians' Practices" under the supervision of Richard Ruggles.[1] He taught courses in economic theory and policy, accounting, and health economics and policy. Reinhardt's scholarly work focused on economics and policy and included more far-reaching topics such as cost-benefit analyses of the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar[7] and the Space Shuttle.[citation needed] He died of sepsis on November 14, 2017 in Princeton, NJ.[2] Reinhardt was married to Tsung-Mei Cheng,[8][9] also known as May Reinhardt.[10]

In July 2015 Reinhardt's 2013 syllabus and first lecture for a class titled "Introductory Korean Drama" received attention from several bloggers.[11] By way of explanation, Reinhardt introduced the class by stating

After the near‐collapse of the world's financial system has shown that we economists really do not know how the world works, I am much too embarrassed to teach economics anymore, which I have done for many years. I will teach Modern Korean Drama instead. Although I have never been to Korea, I have watched Korean drama on a daily basis for over six years now. Therefore I can justly consider myself an expert in that subject.[12]

It was not clear whether Reinhardt actually intended to teach the course.


Reinhardt's research focused on hospital pricing, systems of health care around the world, Medicare reform, and health care spending. His work appeared in Health Affairs, The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The British Medical Journal, and The European Heart Journal.[13]

In one paper, Reinhardt discusses the obstacles to success of consumer-directed health care in light of the lack of transparency in hospital pricing. He suggests several reforms that could lead to better information on hospital pricing for consumer decision-making, including a national set of diagnosis-related group weights to which each hospital could then apply its own conversion factor. Reinhardt's previous work on hospitals examined the tax and cost of equity capital advantages of not-for-profit hospitals over for-profit hospitals.[citation needed]

Reinhardt's scholarship analyzed the U.S. health care industry in relation to systems around the world. He argued that higher U.S. health spending is a result of higher U.S. per capita gross domestic product (GDP) as well as intricate and disjointed payment systems. Reinhardt's work on foreign systems of health care includes a 2004 analysis of Switzerland that appeared in JAMA.[14] In it, Reinhardt argued that there is little correlation between the prevalence of consumer choice and the high quality of Swiss health care.[14]

In 2003, Reinhardt and 14 other experts on health policy and the private health care industry signed an open letter arguing that Medicare should lead the U.S. health care industry in paying for performance by tying financial reimbursement to quality measures.[15]

Reinhardt's work on health care spending includes his argument that the aging of the U.S. population is not the primary cause of the growth in U.S. health care spending.[15]

Private industry and advisory roles[edit]

In addition to his university duties, Reinhardt was active as an advisor for government, non-profit organizations, and private industry and held directorships in various for-profit companies in the health industry. Reinhardt served on the Governing Council of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences between 1979 and 1982, after election to the Institute in 1978.[16] At the Institute, he served on a number of study panels, including the Committee on the Implications of For-Profit Medicine, the Committee on Technical Innovation in Medicine, the Committee on the Implications of a Physicians Surplus, and the Committee on the U.S. Physician Supply. In 1996, he was appointed to the Board of Health Care services of the Institute.

From 1986-1995, Reinhardt served three consecutive three-year terms as a Commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Commission (PPRC), established in 1986 by the Congress to advise it on issues related to the payment of physicians. Reinhardt served as a Commissioner for the Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.[17] Reinhardt was a member of numerous editorial boards, among them The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The Journal of Health Economics, the Milbank Quarterly, and Health Affairs.

Reinhardt served as a trustee of Duke University and the Tekla Family of Funds.[6] He also served on the Boards of Directors of Boston Scientific Corporation,[6] a leading maker of medical devices, and Amerigroup Corporation, a large health insurer whose clients consist primarily of persons enrolled in Medicare. He served on the Board of Directors of Triad Hospitals, Inc, until that company was merged into Community Health Systems in 2007. He was a regular contributor to the New York Times' Economix blog, where he wrote about economic matters, particularly the economics of health care.[6]

Role in Taiwan's healthcare system and awards[edit]

In 1989, as Taiwan was restructuring its healthcare system, Reinhardt persuaded its leaders to model it on those of Canada and Germany.[citation needed] As of 2014, Taiwan's system provides universal care for 6.6% of GDP. For his contribution, in 2014 he was awarded the nation's Presidential Prize.[18][19] In 2018, Reinhardt was posthumously awarded the First Grade Medal for Professionalism in Health and Welfare by Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare.[20][21]



In the 2009 Frontline show "Sick Around America", Reinhardt criticized the United States for spending 24% of every health care dollar on administration, and pointed out that Canada spends less than half of the U.S. amount and Taiwan spends significantly less than Canada.[22] Reinhardt faulted the seeming U.S. preference for an unwieldy "mishmash of private insurance plans" for the inefficiency.[22] He said if the U.S. could spend half as much on administration, it would save more than enough money to cover all the uninsured.

Selected articles[edit]


  1. ^ a b Reinhardt, Uwe. "An Economic Analysis of Physicians' Practices". Retrieved 9 January 2014 – via ProQuest.
  2. ^ a b Sam Roberts (November 15, 2017). "Uwe Reinhardt, 80, Dies; a Listened-to Voice on Health Care Policy". New York Times. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "Famed health economist Uwe Reinhardt dies". Modern Healthcare. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  4. ^ "Innocents In Uniform." New York Times, March 22, 2003; A5.
  5. ^ Who's Paying for our Patriotism Washington Post, Aug 1, 2005; A17.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Uwe E. Reinhardt". Business Day: Economy. New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  7. ^ Reinhardt, U. E. (1973). "Break-Even Analysis for Lockheed's Tri Star: An Application of Financial Theory". The Journal of Finance. 28 (4): 821–838. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6261.1973.tb01408.x. JSTOR 2978336.
  8. ^ Rosenberg, Eli (28 February 2019). "An American got sick in Taiwan. He came back with a tale of the 'horrors of socialized medicine.'". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  9. ^ Cheng, Tsung-Mei (14 May 2019). "Stick to the Public Option, Democrats". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Uwe Reinhardt & Tsung-mei Cheng". PBS. November 10, 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  11. ^ Blattman, Christopher (10 July 2015). "Syllabus of the year". Chris Blattman. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  12. ^ Reinhardt, Uwe. "Introductory Korean Drama" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Reinhardt, Uwe E[Author]". PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  14. ^ a b Reinhardt, U. E. (2004). "The Swiss Health System". JAMA. 292 (10): 1227–1231. doi:10.1001/jama.292.10.1227. PMID 15353536.
  15. ^ a b "Chapter 1: Overview/Background". www.justice.gov. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  16. ^ "Uwe Reinhardt". Kaiser Family Foundation. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 27 Jul 2013.
  17. ^ "Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured". The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 4 January 2017.
  18. ^ NY Times Obituary for Uwe Reinhardt, Sam Price, 15 Nov 2017
  19. ^ "Reinhardt Receives Honors for Contributions to Health Care Economics," B. Rose Huber, Woodrow Wilson School News, Princeton Univ 30 Mar 2016
  20. ^ "Ms. Cheng and Dr. Reinhardt of Princeton University were awarded Medals for Professionalism in Health and Welfare". Ministry of Health and Welfare. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  21. ^ Kelly, B. Rose (15 February 2018). "Reinhardt, Cheng Recognized for Contributions to Health Policy". Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  22. ^ a b Sick Around America Frontline. 46 minutes in. Transcript Accessed August 28, 2011.

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