Professor Enthoven holds degrees in Economics from Stanford, Oxford, and MIT. He began his teaching career in 1955 while an Instructor in Economics at MIT. In 1956, he moved to the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica and participated in continuing studies on U.S. and NATO defense strategies. In 1960, he moved to the Department of Defense, where he held several positions leading to appointment, by President Johnson, to the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis in 1965. His work there is described in the book How Much is Enough? coauthored with K. Wayne Smith and published by the RAND Corporation. In 1963, he received the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service from John F.Kennedy. In 1969, he became vice president for Economic Planning for Litton Industries, and in 1971 he became president of Litton Medical Products. In 1972, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and served on its governing Council. He joined the Stanford Faculty in 1973, and began teaching Business Policy and, later, Microeconomics. In 1977, while serving as a consultant to the administration of President Carter, he designed and proposed Consumer Choice Health Plan, a plan for universal health insurance based on managed competition in the private sector. Since 1980, his teaching has been focused on health care.
Professor Enthoven is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is Chairman of Stanford’s Committee on Faculty/Staff Human Resources. He has been a consultant to the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program since 1973. He has served as Chairman of the Health Benefits Advisory Council for CalPERS, the California State employees’ medical and hospital care plans. He has been a director of the Jackson Hole Group, PCS, Caresoft Inc., eBenX, Inc. and Georgetown University. He is a member of the research advisory board of the Committee for Economic Development. He was the 1994 winner of the Baxter Prize for Health Services Research and the 1995 winner of the Board of Directors Award of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. In 2008, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Policy by the RAND Graduate School.
In 1997, Governor Wilson appointed him Chairman of the California Managed Health Care Improvement Task Force. Commissioned by the State legislature, the Task Force addressed healthcare issues raised by managed care. In 1998-99, he was the Rock Carling Fellow of the Nuffield Trust in London and also Visiting Professor at the London School of Hygene and Tropical Medicine, and Visiting Fellow at New College, Oxford. He wrote the Rock Carling Lecture In Pursuit of an Improving National Health Service, recommending further introduction of market forces in the National Health Service. He and Laura Tollen recently edited the book Toward a 21st Century Health System: The Contributions and Promise of Prepaid Group Practice. From 2005-2007 he served as project director for the CED and project director of the CED and report Quality, Affordable Healthcare for All: Moving Beyond the Employer-Based Health Insurance System, published in 2007.