Jean Sullivan, JD
Associate Vice Chancellor
Director, Center for Health Law and Economics

Jean Sullivan is a recognized leader in Massachusetts health reform efforts over the past 30 years. An attorney by training, she is an expert in the Medicaid and Social Security laws, including all aspects of Medicaid and S-CHIP program policies and federal financial participation rules; the Affordable Care Act, the disability-related cash and medical benefits and programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Social Security Act; and financing structures for the uninsured, safety net providers, and the transformation of health care systems. She has served as general counsel and deputy commissioner for the Massachusetts Medicaid agency, a senior advisor to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and as a policy expert in the development and passage of the state’s landmark universal coverage legislation enacted in 2006. 

Ms. Sullivan is credited for her leadership and innovative design of the legal architecture of broad-based health coverage expansion programs, implemented from 1988 – 2012, focused on families, as well as the needs of persons with disabilities and frail elders. She designed and directed the restructuring of the uncompensated care reimbursement system for Massachusetts hospitals and community health centers in 1991, allowing the state to earn over $500 million in the first year and a continuing $150 million annually in new federal funds, which were instrumental in supporting the health care safety net and state-wide reform efforts during the following 10 years. She directed all legal aspects of the original MassHealth Demonstration waiver design and related federal negotiations from 1995 through 2002, and has served on several commissions and advisory boards concerned with the policies and financing challenges relative to long term services and supports. At UMass Medical School, she has continued to serve as a trusted advisor to public officials in several New England states, including her lead advisor and drafting role in the design and passage of the Massachusetts’ cost containment and system reform law, Chapter 224 of 2012.

During her long career in public service, Ms. Sullivan has received the Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service, Massachusetts’s highest level performance recognition award, four times: in 1988, for her leadership in establishing the CommonHealth program; in 1991, for her work in uncompensated care financing; in 1997, as co-director of a statewide regulatory reform effort; and in 2004, for her contributions to expanding health care access to residents of Massachusetts.

Ms. Sullivan graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in experimental psychology from Mount Holyoke College, and earned her law degree from Boston University School of Law.  

Jean Sullivan

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