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Ashley Palmer

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Research Scientist
Ashley focuses on understanding and evaluating Medicaid initiatives and policies through research, evaluation and policy analysis.

Ashley is a policy analyst and researcher whose work focuses on Medicaid, behavioral health, health systems financing and delivery system reform, health equity, maternal and child health and the promotion of person-centered models of health care delivery. Her work has included technical assistance to state Medicaid agencies, evaluation of Medicaid financing and behavioral health initiatives, and policy analysis on behalf of clients like CMS, ASPE, and MACPAC. 

Prior to joining NORC, Ashley was a senior research leader at IBM Watson Health where she led evaluation and policy analysis activities related to Medicaid and behavioral health. Prior to that, she was a Research Associate at Urban Institute, where her work focused on Medicaid managed care program evolution and implementation as well as maternity care. 

Ashley’s work has been featured in published journals, trade associations, and Reports to Congress; it has also been presented before state legislatures and other state policymaking bodies. 

Ashley earned a doctorate in Public Policy from the George Washington University, where she also earned her Master’s degree. Her dissertation focused on the integration of behavioral health and primary care services in Medicaid. 

Project Contributions

Framework for Whole-Person Care Integration in State Medicaid Programs

A guide for Medicaid delivery systems as they aim to address the needs of the whole-person



Medicaid Maternal Care Model in Washington State

Policy guidance on improving maternal and infant health care


The Washington State Health Care Authority

Reducing Health Disparities Through Quality Improvement

Helping to embed health equity into Medicare and Medicaid services


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health

Understanding CRNA Contributions to OB Care in Rural & Underserved Areas

Using mixed-methods evaluation and data linkage to study the experiences of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs)


American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Foundation

Understanding the Importance of Consistent Medicaid Coverage

A pandemic moratorium on Medicaid disenrollment allows for a unique study


Association for Community Affiliated Plans