Dr. Steven A. Farmer is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Management and Strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is a practicing cardiologist with specialized expertise in echocardiography. He earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University. As a British Marshall Scholar, he received his doctorate in Health Services Research & Policy from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He received his MD degree from Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to his academic training, he spent several years in management consulting and in venture capital / new venture management. He completed his internship, residency in internal medicine, and fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Farmer’s research addresses contemporary national health policy issues, particularly in relation to variability in medical decision making, healthcare organizational structure, and the costs and outcomes of care. His innovative work incorporates broad multidisciplinary expertise from the fields of cardiology, epidemiology, economics, law, and health policy.
Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, one of his current studies examines geographic variations in the use of cardiovascular imaging following a new diagnosis of heart failure and seeks to answer the question: Is more imaging better? This pilot study will lay the foundation for a larger project which explores the factors driving variations in decision making and the ways in which unwarranted variation can be reduced. A second innovative project links faculty from the medical, law and business schools to examine the joint effects of reimbursement changes and malpractice reforms on the practice of cardiology. The multi-billion dollar questions: Can reimbursement policy promote provision of more efficient, cost effective care? Does tort law (and tort reform) lead to “defensive medicine” or does it set a “floor” on quality? There is already evidence that healthcare reform is changing the practice of cardiology; we need to better understand the impact of these changes on costs and outcomes of care.
Already author to six articles and four abstracts, Dr. Farmer also serves as a referee for the American Journal of Cardiology and Circulation. He is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiology, and echocardiography.