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Name: Bindman, Andrew
Current Position: Previous Director

Andrew Bindman, a physician who has spent years studying patient quality issues, on May 2, 2016 was named to lead the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).


Bindman grew up in the Boston area where his father, Arthur, was a psychologist for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. The younger Bindman attended Harvard, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and social relations in 1980. He then went to New York’s Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, earning his M.D. in 1984.


Bindman went to UC San Francisco for his residency and remained there for most of his career. After a post-doctoral fellowship at nearby Stanford, Bindman was named an assistant professor at UCSF. In addition, he has long had an association with San Francisco General Hospital, which serves the city’s poor.


Bindman has done several studies on healthcare involving those in poverty. A 1990 study showed how hospital closures hurt the poor more than other patients. He has also investigated the link between access to care and preventable hospitalizations.


Bindman was named San Francisco General’s chief of general internal medicine in 1996. Meanwhile, he continued to climb in the UCSF hierarchy, serving as director of UCSF’s Primary Care Research Fellowship, and the developer of a course on translating research into policy. Bindman did take a year away, in 1999 and 2000, to serve as a visiting professor at University College London. He took another sabbatical, from 2009 to 2010, to work as a policy fellow on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he helped draft legislative language for the Affordable Care Act.


Beginning in 2006, he was director of the California Medicaid Research Institute, and starting in 2011, he served as a senior adviser to the federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Health Policy. From 2014 to 2015, Bindman was a senior advisor to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service. He also was a health policy contributing writer for the Journal of the American Medical Association.


When Bindman took over AHRQ, he was a UCSF professor of medicine, health policy, epidemiology and biostatistics. He took leave of that job during his tenure as AHRQ director.


Bindman met the woman who would become his wife, Rebecca Smith-Bindman, during his residency. She is also a professor at UCSF, with a specialty in radiology and an expertise in

patient safety during radiological exams. They have three adult children: Sarah, Julia and Jacob.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

An Interview With Andy Bindman (UC San Francisco) (pdf)

Andrew Bindman Named Director of U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (University of California, San Francisco)

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