Keith Kocher

Keith E. Kocher, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Director, Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative


Dr. Kocher is an emergency physician and health services researcher at the University of Michigan who studies the delivery and performance of emergency and acute care.  He has broad interests in outcomes research for the emergency care setting, particularly in determining how the US health system can best deliver patient-centered and cost effective care for those with acute health needs and the value of the emergency department as a venue of care. His research focuses on developing quality metrics for emergency care, variation in use and outcomes from the emergency department, resource utilization, and hospitalization decision-making practices.  

He currently has a career development award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He also serves as the Director of the Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative (MEDIC), a statewide collaborative quality initiative sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan/Blue Care Network designed to advance the performance of emergency care through meaningful exchange of data and shared learning.


Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Variation in Emergency Department Hospitalization Practices Across the United States K08 HS024160 (Kocher, PI) 8/1/15 – 7/31/20 - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) - The specific aims of this project are to determine the patient clinical, patient non-clinical, and hospital factors associated with variability in ED hospitalizations and evaluate the effect of these practice patterns on outcomes and costs using a combination of Medicare and Health and Retirement Study data.

Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative (MEDIC) Value Partnership Programs (Kocher, PI) 1/1/2015 – present - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan/Blue Care Network - The specific aims of this project are to develop a collaborative of participating emergency departments across the state of Michigan contributing data to a central clinical registry in order to measure performance, collectively drive practice change, and improve the quality of care for ED patients.  More can be found at:

Published Articles or Reviews

Kocher KE, Ayanian, JZ. “Flipping the Script: A Patient-Centered Approach to Fixing Acute Care.” New England Journal of Medicine, 2016;375(10):915-917. 

Sabbatini AK, Kocher KE, Basu A, Hsia RY. “In-Hospital Outcomes and Costs among Patients Hospitalized during a Return Visit to the Emergency Department.” JAMA, 2016; 315(7):663-671.

Kocher KE, Haggins AN, Sabbatini AK, Sauser K, Sharp AL. “Emergency Department Hospitalization Volume and Mortality in the United States.” Annals of Emergency Medicine, 2014; 64(5):446-460. 

Sabbatini AK, Nallamothu BK, Kocher KE. “Reducing Variation in Hospital Admissions from the Emergency Department for Low-Mortality Conditions May Produce Savings.” Health Affairs, 2014; 33(9):1655-1663.

Lammers EJ, Adler-Milstein J, Kocher KE. “Does Health Information Exchange Reduce Redundant Imaging?: Evidence from Emergency Departments.” Medical Care, 2014; 52(3):227-234.

Kocher KE, Nallamothu BK, Birkmeyer JD, Dimick JB. “Emergency Department Visits after Surgery Are Common for Medicare Patients, Suggesting Opportunities to Improve Care.” Health Affairs, 2013; 32(9):1600-1607.

Kocher KE, Dimick JB, Nallamothu BK. “Changes in the Source of Unscheduled Hospitalizations in the United States.” Medical Care, 2013; 51(8):689-698.

Kocher KE, Asplin BR. “What Is Our Plan for Acute Unscheduled Care?” Annals of Internal Medicine, 2013; 158(12):907-909.

Kocher KE, Meurer WJ, Fazel R, Scott PA, Krumholz HM, Nallamothu BK. “National Trends in Use of Computed Tomography in the Emergency Department.” Annals of Emergency Medicine, 2011; 58(5):452-462.