Jacobson, Peter D.

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Jacobson, Peter D.


Education: Dickinson College, A.B., 1967; University of Pittsburgh, J.D., 1970; University of California, Los Angeles, M.P.H., 1988.


Office—Department of Health Management & Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 109 S. Observatory, M3515 SPH II, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029. E-mail—[email protected].


Lawyer, educator, and writer. Admitted to the Bar of New York State and the Bar of Pennsylvania State. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, lecturer in public health policy, 1970-71; Private law practice, Pittsburgh, 1974-76; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, lecturer in public policy and consumer affairs, 1976; Neighborhood Legal Services, Pittsburgh, senior attorney and acting deputy director, 1976-77, chief of Consumer and Landlord-Tenant Divisions, 1970-74; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, Washington, DC, senior attorney in the Division of Policy and Procedures, 1977-78, director of Division of Operational Analysis, 1978-86; RAND Corporation, Pew Memorial Trust Health Policy fellow, 1986-87, health care consultant in Economics and statistics Department, 1987-88, Santa Monica, CA, senior behavioral scientist, 1988-96, member of Human Subjects Protection Committee, 1992-96, RAND Graduate School faculty member, 1990-96; University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, assistant professor of health management and policy, 1996-98, associate professor of health management and policy, 1998—, professor of health law and policy, 2004—, director of the Center for Law and Health Systems, 2004—. Member of the Institute of Medicine Committee to Evaluate Measures of Health Benefits for Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulation, 2004-2006; member of the U.S. Surgeon General's Committee on Global Health, 2004-2005; and member of the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center Executive Committee, 2000-2005.


American Public Health Association, American Health Lawyers Association.


Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship, 1970-1972; Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 1995; Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 2004; McDevitt Excellence in Research Award, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, 2005, for "Survival Strategies for Michigan's Health Care Safety Net Providers"; Pi Gamma Mu.


(With Phoebe A. Lindsey and Anthony H. Pascal) AIDS-Specific Home and Community-Based Waivers for the Medicaid Population, Rand (Santa Monica, CA), 1989.

(With Jeffrey Wasserman and Kristiana Raube) The Political Evolution of Anti-Smoking Legislation, Rand (Santa Monica, CA), 1992.

(With James P. Kahan and Peter C. Noehrenberg) Postacute Care in Health Maintenance Organizations: Implications for Bundling, Rand (Santa Monica, CA), 1992.

(With Jeffrey Wasserman) Tobacco Control Laws: Implementation and Enforcement, Rand (Santa Monica, CA), 1997.

Strangers in the Night: Law and Medicine in the Managed Care Era, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

(Editor, with Lawrence O. Gostin) Law and the Health System, Foundation Press (New York, NY); Thomson/West (St. Paul, MN), 2006.

(With R.A. Rettig, C. Farquhar, and W.M. Aubrey) False Hope vs. Evidence-Based Medicine: The Story of a Failed Treatment for Breast Cancer, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to books, including Combating Teen Smoking: Research and Policy Strategies, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 2001. Reviewer for or contributor to professional journals, including Health Affairs, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Milbank Quarterly, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Tobacco Control, Social Science and Medicine, Health Services Research, and Medical Care Research and Review. Member of board of editors of Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 2000-2003.


Peter D. Jacobson is a lawyer and public health professional who has conducted studies of numerous public health issues, including providing mental health and diabetes care to uninsured populations, reducing youth smoking, enforcing and implementing antismoking laws, and examining the legal and regulatory influences on physician and hospital decisions to detect prenatal substance exposure. In his book Strangers in the Night: Law and Medicine in the Managed Care Era, the author explores the role of health and law and the antagonistic relationship between lawyers and physicians over the years. The author goes back to the mid-1800s as he traces the origins of medical malpractice issues and the subsequent organization in the early 1900s of physicians who established procedures for self-regulation. He then discusses how the failure of physicians to successfully implement these procedures to police themselves reopened the door for the law and lawyers to reinstitute malpractice claims. The author goes on to write about the rise of managed care in the 1990s and how this change in health-care administration led to a greater emphasis on contract law rather than tort law to handle malpractice claims. Jacobson ends his book with a proposed approach to update liability rules and laws that will both bring doctors and lawyers together and provide a balanced approach to the doctor-patient relationship.

Noting that the author "carries out historical investigations that yield insights into contemporary trends," Hastings Center Report contributor Mary Anderlik Majumber also wrote: "Jacobson is at his best in identifying a pattern that serves to explain, and to a certain extent allow predictions about, the judicial response to managed care." A reviewer writing in Issues in Law & Medicine noted that the author also presents "a strategy for reconciling … difficult health policy choices … and for restoring Americans' trust in their health-care system." Several reviewers commented on the book's pertinence to physicians, healthcare professionals, policy makers, and even the general public. Frances H. Miller wrote in the Michigan Law Review: "For everyone seeking to understand how we got ourselves into our present—and seemingly endless—difficulties with managed care, and for anyone interested in seeking a way for us to get out of them short of restructuring the whole health sector, this book can serve as a useful and important roadmap."



Hastings Center Report, January-February, 2004, Mary Anderlik Majumber, review of Strangers in the Night: Law and Medicine in the Managed Care Era, p. 42.

Issues in Law & Medicine, fall, 2003, review of Strangers in the Night, p. 199.

Michigan Law Review, May, 2004, Frances H. Miller, review of Strangers in the Night, p. 1295.


University of Michigan School of Pubic Health Web site,http://www.sph.umich.edu/ (April 10, 2007), faculty profile of author and author's curriculum vitae.