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Zhanlian Feng

Zhanlian Feng

Senior Researcher


PhD, Sociology, Brown University
MA, Sociology, Brown University
BA, Sociology, Peking University


Zhanlian Feng is a senior member of our Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care team, with more than 20 years of experience in long-term care and health services research for older adults. He is an expert in the use of large-scale administrative data sets, including Medicare and Medicaid claims, and quantitative research methods for health policy analysis and program evaluation, with a focus on the Medicare-Medicaid dually eligible population.

Currently, Dr. Feng serves as a co-director of evaluation of the Financial Alignment Initiative, funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). He has led several recent studies, supported by CMS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of DHHS, and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), in evaluating interventions and Medicare payment incentives to reduce avoidable hospitalizations among nursing facility residents, understanding dual-eligibility pathways, assessing integrated care models for dually eligible beneficiaries, and investigating the impact of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias on healthcare utilization and costs among Medicare beneficiaries, among other policy relevant topics.

Beyond his domestic research contributions, Dr. Feng is recognized as a leading international expert on long-term care systems and policies. He has led groundbreaking studies in China, documenting the growth and characteristics of elder care facilities and offering key recommendations for building an efficient and sustainable aged care system. In his work as a consultant for the World Bank and more recent research supported by the World Health Organization, he continues to contribute to understanding and assessing emerging long-term care systems in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Feng has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, commentaries, and reports. He came to RTI in 2012 from Brown University, where he was a research assistant professor of health services, policy, and practice at the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research. A native Mandarin Chinese speaker, he is familiar with the social, cultural, and health policy landscapes in both China and the United States. He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Aging & Social Policy, for which he has co-guest edited a special issue themed “Advancing Long-term Care Policy and Research in China” (Volume 35, Issue 5, 2023).

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