Dr. Swartz’s current research interests focus on implementation issues related to the new health care reform law (PPACA); aging issues; and reasons for and ways to control episodes of care that involve extremely-high expenditures. Her research related to the PPACA center on two implementation issues: how the insurance exchanges will work with current state regulations of the sale of health insurance and how lower-income people with fluctuating income will obtain Medicaid or premium subsidies for purchasing coverage in the exchanges. She is the author of Reinsuring Health: Why More Middle-Class People Are Uninsured and What Government Can Do. In the book, she describes who does not have insurance today and why the middle-class are more likely to be uninsured today than 30 years ago, how insurance companies compete in the individual and small group insurance markets, and why government-sponsored reinsurance for people with very-high expenditures would make small group and individual insurance more accessible and affordable for many of the uninsured. Her proposal about reinsurance is part of the PPACA and the exchanges. Dr. Swartz also is increasingly engaged in policy issues related to the aging of the population, particularly how to develop greater efficiency in providing community long-term care services and housing options to enable more people to age in place.

Dr. Swartz was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2007. She was the 1991 recipient of the David Kershaw Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management for research done before the age of 40 that has had a significant impact on public policy. She also was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation between September 2000 and June 2001.

Dr. Swartz was the President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management in 2009. Between November 1995 and June 2007, she was the editor of Inquiry, a journal that focuses on health care organization, provision and financing.  Since 2005, she has been the Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Program at Harvard University.