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Megan Collado, M.P.H.

Director - AcademyHealth

Megan Collado is a director at AcademyHealth, where she manages a number of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grantmaking programs and is the Project Director of an AHRQ-sponsored conference grant that convenes policy audiences to discuss the evidence and future research needs related to health care costs, financing, organization and markets.

Megan's primary responsibilities include project management, program design and implementation, research translation, and grantmaking and proposal evaluation. Megan also provides leadership as needed on AcademyHealth projects related to health reform, health care value, public/population health, and price transparency.

Prior to joining AcademyHealth in 2012, Megan provided research assistance at the Center for Managing Chronic Disease at the University of Michigan School of Public Health; at the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and at the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Earlier in her career, Megan served as the interim Director of Development for a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in gender and health studies and an M.P.H. in health management and policy from the University of Michigan.

Authored by Megan Collado, M.P.H.

Blog Post

HCFO: A Chapter Closes, but the Evidence Endures

After nearly 30 years, the final grants funded under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) initiative are coming to a close at the end of December. This work has built on AcademyHealth’s broader efforts to get actionable evidence that can improve health and health care into the hands of decision makers when they need it and in a format they can use.

Research Insights

​The aim of public and private funders of health services research is not only to support studies on the health care system and health care services, but also to disseminate results to policymakers.

Through the Research Insights project, AcademyHealth convenes invitational meetings, holds webinars, and produces reports and issue briefs to foster discussion of existing, relevant research evidence among policy audiences who need it to implement health reform and develop new policy.


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Reports & Publications

Paying for Value: Progress and Obstacles
December 2015

Public and private policymakers are increasingly committed to using provider payment as a tool to improve clinical quality, patients’ experience of care, and efficient use of resources. Since the turn of the millennium, significant gains have been made in measuring and incentivizing improvements in quality and patient experience. More recently, payers have also stepped up efforts to collect information about costs and resource use and to devise payment strategies to encourage efficiency. The concept of value has emerged as a single metric that joins the dimensions of quality and efficiency and is now a primary focus of payment policy in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. 

Health Plan Features: Implications of Narrow Networks and the Trade-Off between Price and Choice
December 2014

The use of narrow provider networks in health insurance plans is a cost containment strategy that has gained popularity of late. Network design features differ among plans, but insurers generally seek to offer lower premiums by limiting the group of providers available to plan enrollees. As interest in the use of narrow networks has increased, so have concerns about their effect on consumers’ choices, cost, and access to care. With the growth of narrow network plans, it is important to understand the effectiveness of existing and emerging network design strategies and the potential for policies to ensure consumer access to high-quality care. 

The Demand Side: Consumer-Focused Strategies to Improve Health System Outcomes
June 2013

Policymakers and payers are increasingly interested in the potential for consumers and purchasers to improve health outcomes and control costs through their own health care decision-making. Strategies that focus on the “demand-side” include: value-based insurance design, wellness programs, high-deductible insurance plans, price transparency, and shared decision-making. These strategies aim to improve value in health care by helping consumers and purchasers differentiate between high- and low-value services, by making consumers more cost-conscious shoppers for services and insurance coverage, and by raising consumers’ awareness about the consequences of health behaviors.

Training & Resources

Implications of Narrow Networks and the Tradeoff between Price and Choice
Insurers may offer narrow network plans to attract price-sensitive consumers who are willing to trade off network breadth for less costly premiums. Yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that the resulting provider networks may be narrower than expected, leaving consumers vulnerable to the financial burden of out-of-network care. This free webinar addressed the potential policy responses to the growth of narrow network plans and identified where more evidence is needed, to inform researchers and decision makers.

Costs, Quality, and Provider Integration in the Local Health Care Marketplace: What Can Research and Recent Experience Tell State Policymakers
Many state officials have expressed concern over the unprecedented number of hospital mergers during the last decade. More recently, hospital systems have begun purchasing or partnering with various practitioners in an attempt to improve quality and restrain costs through clinical integration. This webinar examined what research tells us about the implications of provider concentration and integration, and included presentations from policymakers in two states that have adopted innovative policy approaches.


Engaging Businesses for Health

AcademyHealth manages the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Engaging Businesses for Health project, which awarded eight research studies in 2017 to build the evidence base for how private-sector investment can help build a Culture of Health—promoting greater well-being and health equity for all.

Achieving a Culture of Health requires unprecedented collaboration from communities, policymakers, businesses and other key stakeholders. Recognizing the importance of investing in health beyond corporate walls, businesses and other collaborators are seeking new ways to invest in community health, equity and well-being and encountering questions along that path.

In February 2017, RWJF announced eight awarded grants examining the dynamic relationship between the innovation and drive of American businesses and entrepreneurs and the needs and health of the communities that support them. Topics range from how poor health outcomes negatively influence anchor companies to how labeling and incentives can be used to change consumers’ healthy food purchasing behavior. Other studies will provide evidence on the value of employers’ investments in the health and well-being of workers and their communities and inform strategies and best practices for engaging businesses to contribute to building a Culture of Health.

Meet the 2017 Grantees


Special Topic Research Programs

The most effective health care policy is informed by objective, rigorous evidence. For 25 years, AcademyHealth served as the national program office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) grantmaking initiative and continues to manage special topic solicitations for the Foundation covering a broad array of topics.


With guidance from the Foundation, AcademyHealth staff manage rigorous external review of grant proposals, monitor funded projects, and collaborate with grantees to disseminate study findings through a variety of channels, including meetings, written products, and social media. AcademyHealth is known for managing successful grantmaking programs that promote the development of high-quality evidence that is useful and used by policymakers and other decision makers. AcademyHealth staff are currently managing the following special topic solicitations:



If you have questions about any of these projects, please contact Megan Collado