For Immediate Release - November 01, 2012

DR. STUART ALTMAN APPOINTED TO CHAIR THE HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION BOARD

Administration continues to make progress on health care cost containment implementation

BOSTON – Thursday, November 1, 2012 – Continuing to make progress implementing the Commonwealth’s first-in-the-nation health care cost containment law, Governor Deval Patrick today appointed Dr. Stuart Altman to chair the Board of the Health Policy Commission (HPC). The new agency is charged with monitoring the reform of Massachusetts health care delivery and payment systems in order to reduce costs and improve quality.

“Dr. Altman’s experience in matters of health policy in both the public and private sectors is deep and unparalleled and will be an asset to the Commonwealth in our work to drive health care costs down,” said Governor Patrick. “I thank him for his willingness to serve.”

Dr. Altman, a Professor of National Health Policy at Brandeis University, is an economist with nearly five decades of experience working on health policy issues across the public and private sectors.

“I fully appreciate the importance of this appointment and the confidence the governor has in my ability to help guide this important effort,” said Dr. Altman. “Addressing unsustainable health care cost growth is a critically important challenge for Massachusetts. I look forward to working with the full board of the Health Policy Commission, as well as all interested stakeholders, to achieve this goal while maintaining access to high quality health care for all residents of the Commonwealth.”

Dr. Altman has served on numerous government advisory boards at both the federal and state level. He is a member of The Institute of Medicine, a member of the Board of Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston and Chair of the Health Industry Forum at Brandeis University. Dr. Altman is a recognized leader in the health care field; in 2006 Health Affairs and Modern Healthcare named him among the 30 most influential people in health policy over the previous 30 years. Dr. Altman holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

The HPC is established by the historic health care cost containment legislation that the Governor signed on August 6 as the successor agency to the Health Care Quality and Cost Council.  The HPC is governed by an 11-person board, as appointed by the Governor, the Attorney General and the State Auditor, with input from an advisory council.

The HPC sets the broad policy direction for the Commonwealth as supported by data and information collected by the Center for Health Information and Analysis.  The HPC is charged with establishing a statewide goal for reducing the growth in health care costs and monitoring progress through annual cost trends hearings.  The HPC also works with the health care industry to foster innovative health care delivery and payment models to help achieve this goal. The first full board meeting of the Health Policy Commission will take place on November 16, 2012 at Gardner Auditorium in the State House. 

Last month, the Administration launched a website dedicated to the cost containment law, with detailed information about the law and notices of upcoming events related to the law’s implementation. The site serves as a clearinghouse for information on efforts to control health care costs, creating a transparent home for updates on progress, and other information important to consumers throughout the Commonwealth.

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