For Immediate Release - November 14, 2012


Commission set to begin important work in containing health care costs

Health Policy Commission Board
Governor Patrick congratulates members of the Health Policy Commission Board. (Photo Credit: Axel Del Cid & Eric Haynes / Governor's Office) View full size photo.

BOSTON – Wednesday, November 14, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley and Auditor Suzanne Bump today announced the full membership of the Commonwealth’s Health Policy Commission Board. The Commission, created by the Commonwealth’s historic health care cost-containment law signed by Governor Patrick in August, is charged with monitoring the reform of Massachusetts health care delivery and payment systems in order to reduce costs and improve quality. The new members bring a broad range of expertise in the health care industry, including patient advocacy and practicing medicine, and will be critical in implementing the next phase of Massachusetts health care reform.

On November 1, Governor Patrick appointed Dr. Stuart Altman to chair the Board of the Health Policy Commission. The first full board meeting of the Health Policy Commission will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, November 16 at Gardner Auditorium in the Massachusetts State House.

“These individuals bring a broad range of experience in matters of health policy in both the public and private sectors and I am confident they will be successful in leading the charge in driving down health care costs,” said Governor Patrick. “I thank them for their willingness in taking on this important task, and I look forward to working with them in the days ahead.”

“The critically important work of the Health Policy Commission will soon get underway and we are pleased that such talented individuals have agreed to serve,” said Attorney General Coakley. “The next stage in Massachusetts health care reform is containing and aligning costs with quality and other criteria that the market should value. The Commission will be leading those efforts and we look forward to its work.”

“The work of the commission requires extraordinarily talented individuals who are well equipped to advance its mandate and to represent the interests of all major stakeholders,” said Auditor Bump. “Their leadership will help enable us to devise a more effective and affordable healthcare model.”

The Health Policy Commission (HPC) is an independent state agency 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 appointments for the 11-person board can be found below:

Dr. Stuart Altman, Chair

Statutory Requirement: One member, designated as chairperson, with demonstrated expertise in health care delivery, health care management at a senior level or health care finance and administration, including payment methodologies. (Appointed by the Governor to an initial term of 3 years)

Stuart Altman, Ph.D., is the Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is an economist with approximately five decades of experience working closely with issues of federal and state health policy within government, the private sector, and academia.

Dr. Altman has served on numerous government advisory boards on both the federal and state levels. Between 1971 and 1976, Dr. Altman was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/Health at the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW). While serving in that position, he was one of the principal contributors to the development and advancement of a National Health Insurance proposal. From 1972 to 1974, he also served as the Deputy Director for Health as part of President Nixon’s Cost-of-Living Council, where he was responsible for developing the council’s program on health care cost containment.

For twelve years, from 1984 to 1996, he was the Chairman of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission (ProPac), which was responsible for advising the U.S. Congress and the administration on the functioning of the Medicare Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) Hospital Payment System and other system reforms. He was appointed in 1997 by President Clinton to the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. From 2000 to 2002, he was Co-Chair of the Legislative Health Care Task Force for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Dr. Altman is a published author of numerous books and journal articles, the most recent, Power, Politics and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of a Century-Long Battle (2011). He has been recognized as a leader in the health care field by Health Affairs and by Modern Healthcare, which named him in 2006 among the 30 most influential people in health policy over the previous 30 years, and which from 2003 to 2011 named him one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care. 

Dr. Altman earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from UCLA.

Jean Yang 

Statutory Requirement: One member with demonstrated expertise in health plan administration and finance. (Appointed by the Governor to an initial term of 4 years)

Jean Yang, M.B.A., is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority (the Health Connector), which is the state’s Health Insurance Exchange established under the Massachusetts landmark health reform law of 2006. In her role as CFO, Jean manages all aspects of financial and plan management functions of the organization, as well as playing a key leadership role in the Health Connector’s implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Prior to joining the Health Connector, Jean was Director of Contracting Strategy & Analytics at Tufts Health Plan in Massachusetts, where she worked extensively on health care reimbursement issues and payer-provider collaboration initiatives.  Jean started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and subsequently Deloitte Consulting, where she served a wide variety of clients in the health care industry. 

Jean graduated from Peking University of China and earned her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Dr. Carole Allen

Statutory Requirement: One member who is a primary care physician. (Appointed by the Governor to an initial term of 5 years)

Carole Allen, M.D., is a retired pediatrician from Arlington, Massachusetts with 37 years of experience in general pediatrics.  She spent the early part of her career practicing medicine at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Most recently, Dr. Allen was the Director of Pediatrics for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. A Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Allen has taught pediatrics to residents, medical students and nurse practitioners for more than 25 years. Last year she received the Special Award for Excellence in Medical Service from the Massachusetts Medical Society for providing “exceptional care and dedication to the medical needs of his or her patients and the general public.”

A member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Allen has also been involved in community activities related to public health and has a special interest in issues related to parenting of gay children and adolescents. Her anti-tobacco activism has won her the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards Paul Revere award for "outstanding dedication and leadership in tackling public health issues." 

Dr. Allen earned a B.A. degree from Cornell University and her M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. David Cutler

Statutory Requirement: One member who is a health economist. (Appointed by the Attorney General to an initial term of 3 years)

David Cutler, Ph.D., is the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and holds secondary appointments at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard School of Public Health. David served as Assistant Professor of Economics from 1991 to 1995, was named John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Social Sciences in 1995, and received tenure in 1997. Professor Cutler was associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for Social Sciences from 2003-2008.

Honored for his scholarly work and singled out for outstanding mentorship of graduate students, Professor Cutler's work in health economics and public economics has earned him significant academic and public acclaim. Professor Cutler served on the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council during the Clinton Administration and has advised the Presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley, John Kerry, and Barack Obama as well as being Senior Health Care Advisor for the Obama Presidential Campaign and a Senior Fellow for the Center for American Progress.

Professor Cutler is the author of two books, several chapters in edited books, and has published papers on the topics of health care and other public policy topics. Cutler was recently named one of the 30 people who could have a powerful impact on healthcare by Modern Healthcare magazine and one of the 50 most influential men aged 45 and younger by Details magazine.

Professor Cutler earned an A.B. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT (1991).

Dr. Paul Hattis

Statutory Requirement: One member with expertise in health care consumer advocacy. (Appointed by the Attorney General to an initial term of 2 years)

Paul Hattis, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., is the Senior Associate Director of the Masters of Public Health Program at Tufts University Medical School where he also is a member of the faculty of the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. He has been a Tufts faculty member since 2002.

Prior to joining Tufts University, Dr. Hattis served for 5 years as the Senior Medical Advisor to the Department of Community Benefit Programs of the Partners Healthcare System of Boston. In his work at Partners, Dr. Hattis worked to advance the primary care and public health efforts of Partners Health System affiliated hospitals and neighborhood health centers.

In addition to his work at Tufts University, Dr. Hattis has been active as a lay leader in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization where he has served as co-chair of GBIO’s Health Care Team. Recently, Dr. Hattis helped co-author a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that is being carried out collaboratively by Tufts Medical School and GBIO with the aim of educating a broad group of GBIO congregants on issues related to health care costs and the policy ideas tied to reducing their growth. 

Dr. Hattis earned his M.D. and J.D. from the University of Illinois where he was part of the Medical Scholars Program. He also received a Masters of Public Health degree from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan. Dr. Hattis is board certified in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. 

Marylou Sudders

Statutory Requirement: One member with expertise in behavioral health, substance use disorder, and mental health services. (Appointed by the Attorney General to an initial term of 1 year)

Marylou Sudders, M.S.W., is an Associate Professor of Macro Practice and chair of the Health and Mental Health Concentration at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work. In addition, she serves as a mental health expert for the U.S. Department of Justice. She has devoted her entire professional career to the issues of mental health and mental illness and protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of children, families and adults.

Her distinguished public record includes service as the Commonwealth’s Commissioner of Mental Health for seven years overseeing the public mental health system and being a strong advocate for the needs of children and adults with serious mental health issues. Accomplishments during her tenure include the passage of critical legal protections: parity insurance coverage; fundamental rights for persons with serious mental illness; civil commitment reform, hospital interpreter provisions; and the creation of a children’s mental health commission. Upon her retirement from public service, she became President and CEO of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), ensuring high quality community based services to children and families and advocating for their needs. 

The recipient of many awards, Ms. Sudders was honored with the National Association of Social Workers highest national award for mental health policy and as social worker of the year by its Massachusetts chapter.

Ms. Sudders earned a B.A. with honors and Master’s degree in social work from Boston University. She is an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. 

Dr. Wendy Everett 

Statutory Requirement: One member with demonstrated expertise in the development and utilization of innovative medical technologies and treatments for patient care. (Appointed by the State Auditor to an initial term of 2 years)

Wendy Everett, Sc.D., is the President of NEHI, a national health policy research institute focused on enabling innovation to improve health care quality and lower costs. She was appointed as the organization’s first president in July 2002.

Dr. Everett has more than 40 years of experience in the health care field. She has held executive positions at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF) and at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. She has directed national demonstration programs for theRobert Wood Johnson and the Kaiser Family Foundations. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Everett became a Director of the Institute for the Future, leading the Health and Health Care research team for six years and overseeing the creation of ten-year, national forecasts in health and health care. 

Dr. Everett earned two bachelor of science degrees, and she holds master’s and doctoral degrees in health policy and management from Harvard University.

Rick Lord

Statutory Requirement: One member with demonstrated expertise as a purchaser of health insurance representing business management or health benefits administration. (Appointed by the State Auditor to an initial term of 3 years)

Richard C. Lord is President and Chief Executive Officer of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM). AIM is a state-wide employer advocacy and service organization of more than 5,000 member companies. Mr. Lord joined AIM in 1991 and served as Executive Vice President for Legislative Policy where he was responsible for AIM’s public policy advocacy on health care, economic development, taxation, worker’s compensation and other issues of interest to employers in the Commonwealth.  He has been President and CEO since 1999.

Prior to joining AIM, Mr. Lord served as Chief of Staff for the Committee on Ways and Means of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The Committee is responsible for all legislation involving state funds and revenues, including the Commonwealth's annual budget and all tax related matters. Mr. Lord was employed by the committee for six years, serving as the Budget Director before being promoted to the Chief of Staff position.

Rick is a 1977 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College where he earned a B.A. degree in Economics and Psychology.

Veronica Turner 

Statutory Requirement: One member with demonstrated expertise in representing the health care workforce as a leader in a labor organization. (Appointed by the State Auditor to an initial term of 4 years)

Veronica Turner is the Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU, the state’s largest union of health care workers. Ms. Turner is also an Executive Vice President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU Massachusetts State Council. She is a board member of the Commonwealth Corporation and a former board member of Jobs with Justice. 

Ms. Turner has championed innovative joint-labor management work in facilities across the state to improve patient care – and is recognized as a rising star and leading voice within the local and national labor communities.

Dr. JudyAnn Bigby

Statutory Requirement: Secretary of Health and Human Services (Appointed by the Governor, Ex-Offico)

JudyAnn Bigby, M.D., serves as the Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and serves in the Cabinet of Governor Deval Patrick. She is a primary care physician, professor, researcher and health policy expert.

Until her appointment, Dr. Bigby was the Medical Director of Community Health Programs at Brigham & Women's Hospital. She was also Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the school’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

Prior to her appointment she served on many boards and expert panels including the Boston Public Health Commission, the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century, and the Minority Women’s Health Panel of Experts for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was President of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the only national organization representing primary care internal medicine doctors, from 2003 to 2004. 

Dr. Bigby earned a B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. 

Jay Gonzalez

Statutory Requirement: Secretary of Administration and Finance (Appointed by the Governor, Ex-Offico)

Jay Gonzalez, J.D., serves as Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and serves in the Cabinet of Governor Deval Patrick. He is responsible for managing state finances, including preparation of the governor’s budget recommendation, development of a state capital budget, managing budgetary activities across state government, and developing long-term fiscal policy. Secretary Gonzalez also chairs the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority Board, which has successfully implemented health care reform in Massachusetts and served as the model for national health reform.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary in October, 2009, Secretary Gonzalez served as undersecretary. Before joining the Patrick-Murray Administration, Secretary Gonzalez was a Partner at the law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, where he focused on public finance.

Secretary Gonzalez earned a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College with a major in Government and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.


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