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Health Policy and Technology

Our Office of Health Policy and Technology provides policy development, research, analysis, project implementation, and thought leadership related to the impact of information technology on the efficacy of public-sector programs — and on the health outcomes of those they serve.

Our health policy and technology team offers support for developing the strong infrastructure that is essential for health information technology, such as the following:

  • Electronic medical records
  • Health information exchanges
  • Health insurance exchanges
  • Integrated eligibility systems
  • All-payer claims databases

These essential components have the potential to improve our health care system and support state and national health reform efforts. Our team addresses technical and policy obstacles to implementing health information technology, with the goal of helping you drive health care transformation through the widespread adoption of these technologies.

Our key focus areas include the following:

  • Applying policy research and supporting program implementation at the intersection of health information technology and public-sector health care delivery
  • Evaluating the outcomes — including cost, quality, and access — of using health information technologies
  • Helping public sector agencies use health information technology, health insurance exchange, and health information exchange to achieve results
    • Improve effectiveness
    • Measure and improve program quality
    • Promote transparency and value
  • Disseminating information about health policy and technology changes to relevant parties
    • State and national leaders, by issuing reports, speaking to the media, and presenting at meetings of industry leaders

Leading development of health insurance exchanges in New England and beyond

We were one of seven public organizations nationally — and the only state university — to receive an Early Innovator grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After receiving the $35.6 million award, we established the New England States Collaborative for Insurance Exchange Systems (NESCIES). This project supports health care reform through the creation of reusable health insurance exchange information technology components for the new Massachusetts health insurance exchange system that can be leveraged by other states that are developing their own exchanges.

To implement the NESCIES project, our team collaborates with two Massachusetts state agencies: the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Health Connector, which operates the current health insurance exchange for the state. We are responsible for all aspects of developing the state’s new exchange. For example, we have hired 200 developers through our IT contractor, CGI, and are now overseeing that team’s effort to develop the technical system necessary for the exchange.