Scott W. Atlas

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow
Research Team: 
Biography: 

Scott W. Atlas, M.D. is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and a Member of Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy.

Dr. Atlas investigates the impact of government and the private sector on access, quality, pricing, and innovation in health care and is a frequent policy advisor to government and industry leaders in these areas. During the 2008, 2012, and 2016 presidential campaigns, he was a Senior Advisor for Health Care to a number of candidates for President of the United States. He has also advised several members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives and testified to Congress on health care reform. His most recent book is entitled Restoring Quality Health Care: A Six‐Point Plan for Comprehensive Reform at Lower Cost (Hoover Press, 2016). Some of Dr. Atlas's previous health policy books include In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America’s Health Care System (Hoover Press, 2011), Reforming America’s Health Care System (Hoover Press, 2010), and Power to the Patient: Selected Health Care Issues and Policy Solutions (Hoover Press, 2005). Dr. Atlas had a Fulbright award to collaborate with academic leaders in China on structuring health care solutions for China, and also participated with leaders from government and academia on the World Bank’s Commission on Growth and Development. He has also advised leaders on health care and medical technology in several countries outside the US, including Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Dr. Atlas has published and been interviewed in a variety of media, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Fox News, London’s Financial Times, BBC Radio, The PBS News Hour, Bloomberg Radio, Brazil’s Correio Braziliense and Isto E, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Argentina’s Diario La Nacion, and India’s The Hindu.

Dr. Atlas is also the editor of the leading textbook in the field, the best‐selling Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine, now in its 5th edition and officially translated from English into Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese. He has been editor, associate editor, and a member of the boards of numerous scientific journals and national and international scientific societies over the past three decades. His medical research centered on advanced applications of new MRI technologies in neurologic diseases. While Professor of Radiology and Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center from 1998 until 2012 and during his previous faculty positions, Dr. Atlas trained over 100 neuroradiology fellows, many of whom are now leaders in the field throughout the world.

He lectures on a variety of topics, most notably the role of government and the private sector in health care quality and access, global trends in health care innovation, and the key economic issues related to the future of technology‐based medical advances. In the private sector, Dr. Atlas is a frequent advisor to start‐up entrepreneurs and companies in the life sciences and medical technology.

Dr. Atlas has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his leadership in the field. He is recognized internationally as a leader in both education and clinical research and had been on the Nominating Committee for the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for several years. He has been named by his peers in The Best Doctors in America every year since its initial publication, as well as in regional listings, such as The Best Doctors in New York, Silicon Valley's Best Doctors, and other similar publications. He was honored to receive the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award, the highest career achievement honor for a distinguished alumnus from the University of Illinois in Urbana‐Champaign, his alma mater.

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

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Bottling Up Drug Prices

by Scott W. Atlasvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 9, 2018

Medicine will just keep getting more expensive until we do something obvious: introduce price competition.

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Clearing Up Misconceptions About Health Savings Accounts

by Scott W. Atlasvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Reformed HSAs represent a clear pathway to affordable, quality care for everyone.

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Health Savings Accounts For Everyone

by Scott W. Atlasvia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

[Subscription Required] Despite failing to repeal and replace ObamaCare fully, health-care reform is progressing under President Trump. The individual mandate is nullified. The administration has permitted more low-cost “limited duration” insurance plans, and more small businesses now have access to association health plans. The next step should be to expand and improve health savings accounts.

Expanding and Incentivizing Health Savings Accounts: A Critical Reform For Broadly Available, High Quality Health Care

featuring Scott W. Atlasvia United States Congress Joint Economic Committee
Friday, June 8, 2018

On Thursday, June 7, Scott Atlas testified before the Joint Economic Committee at a hearing titled "The Potential for Health Care Savings Accounts to Engage Patients and Bend the Health Care Cost Curve."

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An Overlooked Key To Lower Drug Prices

by Scott W. Atlasvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Policies aimed at reducing costs must not restrict supply, jeopardize quality, or inhibit innovation.

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Soaring Drug Prices? Here's How To Control Them

by Scott W. Atlasvia CNN
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

New Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has identified his main priorities. At the top of his list is lowering prescription drug prices.

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Aggressive Deregulation Is The Key For Competition-Based, Health-Care Reform

by Scott W. Atlasvia The Hill
Monday, March 19, 2018

Contrary to the prevailing narrative, health care reform is alive and progressing. The public only hears about a bungling Congress that cannot repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a law that is already imploding on its own. This administration continues to implement strategic deregulation that will lower the cost of medical care and insurance through competition.

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The Reform Less Traveled

by Scott W. Atlasvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

Want to broaden access to health care? Bring down costs—by turning patients into smart consumers. 

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The Path To Affordable Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Incentivize consumers to seek value, increase the supply of care, and stimulate competition among providers.

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Single-Payer Health Care Is A Terrible Option

by Scott W. Atlasvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Yes, everyone has insurance, but that’s meaningless when people are dying in line for care.

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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