Scott W. Atlas

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow
Research Team: 

Scott W. Atlas, MD, is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a member of Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy. He investigates the impact of government and the private sector on access, quality, pricing, and innovation in health care, and he is a frequent policy adviser to government leaders in those areas. Dr. Atlas’s most recent books include Restoring Quality Health Care: A Six Point Plan for Comprehensive Reform at Lower Cost (Hoover Institution Press, 2016) and In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America’s Health Care System (Hoover Institution Press, 2011). Dr. Atlas has been interviewed by or has published in a variety of media, including BBC Radio, the PBS NewsHour, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Fox News, London’s Financial Times, Brazil’s Correio Braziliense, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, and Argentina’s Diario La Nacion. Dr. Atlas also advises entrepreneurs and companies in the life sciences, medical technology, and health information technology sectors. 

Dr. Atlas is also the editor of the leading textbook in the field, Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine, being published in its fifth edition and previously translated from English into Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese. He has been an editor, an associate editor, and a member of the editorial and scientific boards of many journals as well as national and international scientific societies during the past three decades and has written more than 120 scientific publications in leading journals. As professor and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center from 1998 until 2012 and during his prior academic positions, Dr. Atlas trained more than one hundred neuroradiology fellows, many of whom are now leaders in the field throughout the world.

Dr. Atlas received a BS degree in biology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and an MD degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine

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Recent Commentary


How To Cut The Price Of Prescription Drugs

by Scott W. Atlasvia CNN
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Reducing the cost of medical care, rather than health insurance, is so often underemphasized or even absent from discussions of reforming the health care system. And yet lowering costs of medical care is essential for broadening access to care, reducing insurance premiums and ultimately ensuring better health.

Analysis and Commentary

Policyed Office Hours: The Scholar Responds

by Scott W. Atlasvia
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The video 'What's Wrong With Health Insurance In America', says that health insurance should focus mostly on unexpected or expensive health care costs, not routine or predictable care. But that raises questions about people with pre-existing conditions, recurring expenses, and those who haven’t been able to save enough for out-of-pocket costs.

Featured CommentaryFeatured

What Should California Expect From TrumpCare? Here Are Five Predictions For The Coming Rx

by Scott W. Atlasvia Eureka
Thursday, January 19, 2017

“Repeal and replace”–the mantra of the Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)–is about to become a reality.


Replace Obamacare With A System That Cuts Costs And Values Quality Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia CNN
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Judging by appointments to top posts in health care, the incoming Trump administration is on course to validate its campaign promise to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act.


Giving Patients Control Over Their Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Over time, health insurance has expanded to cover routine and predictable care, shifting away from the true purpose of insurance. This has driven health care costs through the roof. One way to lower costs while also improving the quality of health care is to expand the use of health accounts coupled with high-deductible insurance plans.


Medical Technology: A Key To Health Care Excellence And Cost Saving

by Scott W. Atlasvia Real Clear Health
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Health care is on the precipice of a new era, when molecular genetics, medical device technology, and sophisticated medical imaging merge to change the face of clinical medicine. Highly accurate, safer diagnostics and more effective, targeted treatments have already moved into clinical practice with remarkable gains and the promise of even more to come.


What’s Wrong With Health Insurance In America?

by Scott W. Atlasvia
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Reforming health insurance in this country begins with redefining our understanding of what insurance is and what it supposed to cover. Insurance isn’t for routine or predictable expenses. Over time, we have come to expect all of our health care to be provided through insurance, and covering more has helped make health insurance cost more.

Healthcare warning

How Medicaid Fails The Poor

by Scott W. Atlasvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Patients enrolled in the program experience nearly the same outcomes as those without insurance.

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The Right Cure To Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It’s time to instill market-based competition, empower consumers, and reduce the federal government’s authority. 

Analysis and Commentary

The Myth Of Medicare's Excellence, And How To Fix It

by Scott W. Atlasvia Real Clear Health
Friday, April 29, 2016

As the population ages and risk factors like obesity continue to compound, Americans will increasingly require medical care at an unprecedented level. Among Democratic candidates for president, Sen. Bernie Sanders espouses “Medicare-for-all,” and Secretary Hillary Clinton fights against private options for seniors, while Republican candidate positions remain vague. 


Featured Publication: Restoring Quality Health Care

Featured Commentary: In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care

In Excellent Health:  Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care