William M. Sage M.D., J.D.

James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence
University of Texas at Austin
Email: bsage@law.utexas.edu Discipline: Medicine, Law Expertise: Competition / Markets

Investigator Award
Competing on Quality of Care: Comparing Antitrust Law to Market Reality
Award Year: 1998 Although quality has been extensively analyzed in health services research, its role in competition policy has not been elucidated. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the potential for competition policy to protect and improve health care quality, and to determine how best to structure oversight of a competitive marketplace, encouraging appropriate tradeoffs between price and quality. Drs. Sage and Hammer approach these problems through the lens of antitrust law, the government's principal tool to promote competition in health care and other industries. They examine the health care regulatory environment and specific aspects of regulation designed to further noncompetitive goals such as community rating laws, tax subsidies, and entitlements. Changes to antitrust law and the surrounding regulatory environment are prescribed, attempting to resolve trade-offs between price and non-price competition, and between competitive and noncompetitive objectives in current health law and policy.


William M. Sage is the former vice provost for health affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and currently teaches in the School of Law as the James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence. Formerly, he was a professor of law at Columbia University, where he taught courses in health law, regulatory theory, and the professions. He is a nationally recognized researcher in managed care, medical malpractice, regulation of health care professionals, and insurance coverage determinations. Sage has edited two books, including Medical Malpractice and the U.S. Health Care System (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and has written approximately 75 articles in legal, health policy, and medical publications. From 2002 through 2005, he was the principal investigator for the Project on Medical Liability in Pennsylvania funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 2002, Sage served on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Rapid Advances in Health Care. He is an elected fellow of the Hastings Center on bioethics, and is a member of the editorial board of Health Affairs. Sage received his A.B. from Harvard College and his medical and law degrees from Stanford University. He completed an internship at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego, and served as a resident in anesthesiology and critical care medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition, Sage practiced corporate and securities law in Los Angeles and, in 1993, headed four working groups for the White House Task Force on Health Care Reform.