Doctoral Student

Philip Anthony Saynisch

Philip Saynisch is a doctoral student in Health Policy Management at the Harvard Business School and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. His research interests include hospital and provider behavior in response to changing population needs and policy and payer incentives. Philip graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 with a BA in Political Science and minors in Psychology and Sociology.

As an undergraduate, Philip worked as a research assistant in the Wharton School’s Department of Health Care Management and Economics, collaborating on projects on topics such as public versus private provision of emergency medical services and convergence between for-profit and non-profit hospitals. During his senior year, Philip pursued an independent study through Wharton’s Health Care Management Department, studying the relationship between demographic trends and the provision of hospital services. After graduating, he continued working with Associate Professor Guy David of the Wharton School, co-authoring a paper on utilization of urgent and non-urgent medical services after Medicare initiation. He also spent three years working as a research assistant in the Center for Outcomes Research (COR) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During his time at COR, Philip gained extensive experience studying health care systems. He worked closely with principal investigators on projects exploring the relationship between obesity and surgical outcomes and the effectiveness of routine well visits for preterm infants, and contributed to the development of new methods for comparing hospital performance. In this role, Philip gained valuable insights into research methods, as well as practical experience manipulating and analyzing both large administrative datasets as well as small, detail-intensive resources such as electronic medical records from Children’s Hospital.


Journal Articles

  1. Affording to Wait: Medicare Initiation and the Use of Health Care

    Guy David, Philip Saynisch, Victoria Acevado-Perez and Mark D. Neuman

    Delays in receipt of necessary diagnostic and therapeutic medical procedures related to the timing of Medicare initiation at age 65 years have potentially broad welfare implications. We use 2005–2007 data from Florida and North Carolina to estimate the effect of initiation of Medicare benefits on healthcare utilization across procedures that differ in urgency and coverage. In particular, we study trends in the use of elective procedures covered by Medicare to treat conditions that vary in symptoms; these are compared with elective surgical procedures not eligible for Medicare reimbursement, and to a set of urgent and emergent procedures. We find large discontinuities in health services utilization at age 65 years concentrated among low-urgency, Medicare-reimbursable procedures, most pronounced among screening interventions and treatments for minimally symptomatic disease.

    Keywords: Insurance; Medicare; Behavior; Insurance; Health Care and Treatment; Insurance Industry; Public Administration Industry; Health Industry; North Carolina; Florida;


    David, Guy, Philip Saynisch, Victoria Acevado-Perez, and Mark D. Neuman. "Affording to Wait: Medicare Initiation and the Use of Health Care."Health Economics 21, no. 8 (August 2012): 1030–1036. View Details