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Jennifer Smith

Pronouns: She/Her

Principal Data Scientist
Jennifer has expertise in administrative health care data, particularly hospital discharge data and commercial, Medicare and Medicaid claims data.

Jennifer is a principal data scientist with experience creating quality of care, access to health care, and cost measures from the claims data for program evaluation and reporting to state and federal agencies.

Jennifer directs data efforts across multiple projects using health care claims. Currently, Jennifer is leading the data processing team for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), responsible for all claims processing. Recently, she led the team processing Maryland commercial, and Medicaid claims to assess the impact of telehealth utilization and take-up since January 2020 for the Maryland Health Care Commission. Also, Jennifer just completed directing the data efforts to create a Physician and Physician Practice Database for AHRQ. This project uses disparate healthcare data, including healthcare claims, to create a database on active physicians and physician practices for 13 states to provide information relevant to supply-side policy research. Jennifer is a subject matter expert for the Minnesota and Rhode Island project teams to evaluate 1115(a) waiver programs. She also works within NORC to improve data quality assurance and governance policies and procedures.

Before NORC, Jennifer worked for 13 years at The Hilltop Institute, where she managed a team of data programmers responsible for data deliverables related to the State of Maryland’s health care policies. She was also responsible for generating reports and translating extrapolated data into meaningful concepts to inform state-level decision-makers on subjects related to opioid use, program enrollment, quality of care, capitation payments, and completeness of data. In years prior to The Hilltop Institute, Jennifer worked at the Pacific Health Research Institute, using claims data to investigate childhood asthma and gestational diabetes.



University of Maryland, Baltimore County


University of Illinois at Chicago


Wheaton College

Project Contributions

Florida Transparency Initiative for Health Care

Developing a tool to help consumers compare health care costs and quality


Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI)

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)

The nation’s most comprehensive source of hospital care data


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Health Care Cost Institute Research Database

Managing one of the nation’s largest multi-payer claims databases to drive insights into health care spending trends


Health Care Cost Institute

Innovations to Address Health Care Data Gaps

Supporting research on physicians and social determinants of health


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Medicaid Financial Oversight Analysis

Improving the financial integrity of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)