Dr. Xi Cen

Dr. Xi Cen is a Research Associate in IMPAQ’s Health Division.


Dr. Cen has extensive training in health economics, health services research and health policy. Her research interests include value-based care; payment reforms; social determinants of health and health disparities; and outcomes research and quality assessments for hospital, post-acute care facility, and long-term care settings. Xi is an expert in large administrative data including Medicare, MarketScan and Optum. She has also worked with EMR data such as Prime Registry and survey data such as Gallup World Poll and AHRQ’s survey on patient safety culture. Her work has been published in top peer-reviewed journals such as Health Affairs, Medical Care, Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, Medical Care Research and Review, and the Gerontologist.

Prior Experience

Prior to joining IMPAQ, Xi was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, where she extended her research to organizational and economic performance of the US health care system, physician behavior, and economics of treatments for chronic pain. Xi was a PhD Researcher on several R01 and foundation-funded projects and an Adjunct Policy Researcher at RAND Corporation. Her dissertation focused on evaluating the effect of Medicare bundled payments on racial/ethnic disparities in hospital readmissions.


Dr. Cen earned her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester with specializations in health economics and health services research. Dr. Cen has also received an M.S. as well as a B.S. in statistics from Xiamen University and an M.A. in economics from San Francisco State University.


Cen, X., Temkin-Greener, H., & Li, Y. (2020). Medicare Bundled Payments for Post-Acute Care: Characteristics and Baseline Performance of Participating Skilled Nursing Facilities. Med Care Res Rev, 77(2), 155-164. doi:10.1177/1077558718766996

Cen, X., Li, Y., Hasselberg, M., Caprio, T., Conwell, Y., & Temkin-Greener, H. (2018). Aggressive Behaviors Among Nursing Home Residents: Association With Dementia and Behavioral Health Disorders. J Am Med Dir Assoc, 19(12), 1104-1109 e1104. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2018.09.010

Temkin-Greener, H., Cen, X., & Li, Y. (2020). Nursing Home Staff Turnover and Perceived Patient Safety Culture: Results from a National Survey. Gerontologist. doi:10.1093/geront/gnaa015

Temkin-Greener, H., Cen, X., Hasselberg, M. J., & Li, Y. (2019). Preventable Hospitalizations Among Nursing Home Residents With Dementia and Behavioral Health Disorders. J Am Med Dir Assoc, 20(10), 1280-1286 e1281. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2019.03.006

Li, Y., Cen, X., Cai, X., & Temkin-Greener, H. (2019). Perceived Patient Safety Culture in Nursing Homes Associated With "Nursing Home Compare" Performance Indicators. Med Care, 57(8), 641-647. doi:10.1097/MLR.0000000000001142

Li, Y., Cai, X., Harrington, C., Hasselberg, M., Conwell, Y., Cen, X., & Temkin-Greener, H. (2019). Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Prevalence of Depressive Symptoms Among U.S. Nursing Home Residents. J Aging Soc Policy, 31(1), 30-48. doi:10.1080/08959420.2018.1485394

Li, Y., Cen, X., Cai, X., Wang, D., Thirukumaran, C. P., & Glance, L. G. (2018). Does Medicare Advantage Reduce Racial Disparity in 30-Day Rehospitalization for Medicare Beneficiaries? Med Care Res Rev, 75(2), 175-200. doi:10.1177/1077558716681938

Li, Y., Cen, X., Cai, X., Thirukumaran, C. P., Zhou, J., & Glance, L. G. (2017). Medicare Advantage Associated With More Racial Disparity Than Traditional Medicare For Hospital Readmissions. Health Aff (Millwood), 36(7), 1328-1335. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2016.1344

Liu, H., Cen, X., Suo, T., Cai, X., Yuan, X., Shen, S., . . . Li, Y. (2017). Trends and Hospital Variations in Surgical Outcomes for Cholangiocarcinoma in New York State. World J Surg, 41(2), 525-537. doi:10.1007/s00268-016-3733-5

Li, Y., Harrington, C., Mukamel, D. B., Cen, X., Cai, X., & Temkin-Greener, H. (2015). Nurse Staffing Hours At Nursing Homes With High Concentrations Of Minority Residents, 2001-11. Health Aff (Millwood), 34(12), 2129-2137. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0422

Li, Y., Harrington, C., Temkin-Greener, H., You, K., Cai, X., Cen, X., & Mukamel, D. B. (2015). Deficiencies In Care At Nursing Homes And Racial/Ethnic Disparities Across Homes Fell, 2006-11. Health Aff (Millwood), 34(7), 1139-1146. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0094


Medicare’s Voluntary Bundled Payment Program is Associated with Exacerbated Racial Differences in Hospital Readmissions after Lower Extremity Joint Replacement. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, November 2019

The Economics of Aging. Personalized Medicine 12.0. San Francisco, CA, May 2019

Aggressive Behaviors Among Nursing Home Residents: Association with Dementia and Behavioral Health Disorders. AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, Seattle, WA, June 2018

Effect of Socioeconomic Factors on Medicare Advantage Within-contract Disparities. RAND Health Summer Seminar, Santa Monica, CA, August 2017

Medicare Bundled Payments for Post-Acute Care: Characteristics and Baseline Performance of Participating Skilled Nursing Facilities. AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, New Orleans, LA, June 2017

Burden of Skeletal Related Events on Health Resource Utilization. Amgen Global Health Economics Summer Talk, Thousand Oaks, CA, August 2014