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Mollie Hertel

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Research Scientist
Mollie focuses on issues related to access to care and reducing health disparities in under-resourced communities.

Mollie is a senior research scientist with more than 15 years of experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research for federal and state government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. 

Mollie works with CMS Office of Minority Health (OMH) to manage all the health equity technical assistance work for CMS OMH. This includes developing tools and resources for organizations—including Quality Innovation Networks and Organizations (QIN-QIOs) and Hospital Quality Improvement Contractors (HQICs)—to reduce disparities and embed health equity. She also leads work on identifying and reducing disparities in specific populations, such as sexual and gender minorities. In addition, Mollie directs the Minnesota 1115 substance use disorder (SUD) waiver evaluation work and directs a large multi-state qualitative research project annually for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). For the MedPAC study, she manages a team that plans and conducts beneficiary and provider focus groups and site visits in six different locations across the United States. Mollie also led the qualitative assessment work for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Nursing Home Coordinating Center project. She managed the qualitative data collection with over 250 respondents, including group interviews and individual in-dept interviews with academic medical centers and nursing homes related to their experience in the program.

Prior to her work at NORC, Mollie worked as a Senior Analyst in the Health care group at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). At GAO, she led large multi-department studies examining topics such as Medicaid beneficiary access to care, programs for individuals with serious mental illness, and oral health access in Medicaid and CHIP.



The University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy


The University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration

Project Contributions

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Focus Groups and Site Visits

Annual interviews and focus groups of Medicaid-Medicare beneficiaries and providers on payment and access


Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac)

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