Executive Order

Executive Order No. 585: Reaffirming and Restructuring the Massachusetts Digital Healthcare Council

Date: 10/31/2018
Issuer: Governor Charlie Baker
Revoking and Superseding: Executive Order No. 574

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, this Administration has recognized that the digital healthcare sector is a rapidly growing industry with the potential to bring new jobs and investment to Massachusetts and also to significantly improve healthcare delivery and reduce healthcare costs across the Commonwealth;

WHEREAS, Massachusetts’s strong base of established and startup healthcare companies, robust investment community, high rate of use of electronic health records, and unparalleled healthcare providers, universities, and research institutions continue to uniquely position the Commonwealth to lead in the growth of the worldwide digital healthcare industry;

WHEREAS, private sector innovators, leaders, and mentors in Massachusetts are partnering with institutional researchers to create the nation’s top innovation economy and a globally-leading life sciences sector;

WHEREAS, as a result, vibrant digital healthcare innovation hubs continue to emerge in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield;

WHEREAS, Massachusetts can best capitalize on its resources and position by convening stakeholders, participants, and experts in the digital healthcare industry to determine the best means for the state to support the industry in Massachusetts;

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Digital Healthcare Council (the “Council”) was created by an Executive Order dated November 17, 2016 and since that time has made an initial set of recommendations to the Governor for his consideration on how to accelerate the growth of the digital healthcare industry in Massachusetts;

WHEREAS, continuing input from the external leaders, experts, and other stakeholders who comprise the membership of the Council will help this Administration in its goal to make Massachusetts home to the leading global ecosystem for the digital healthcare industry; and

WHEREAS, elevating and streamlining the Council’s work to connect these outside experts with state agencies that can benefit from their knowledge and expertise will accelerate the achievement of that goal;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § 1, Art. 1, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1.  The Massachusetts Digital Healthcare Council is hereby established within the Office of the Governor to advise the Governor regarding the digital healthcare industry and to propose for the Governor’s consideration a growth plan to achieve the goal of creating the leading global ecosystem for the digital healthcare industry in Massachusetts.

Section 2.  The Council shall be chaired by one or more members of the Council designated by the Governor.  The Council shall include the Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services or her designee, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development or his designee, and the Assistant Secretary of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, all of whom shall serve as members of the Council ex officio, and no fewer than fifteen or more than forty leaders, experts and other stakeholders drawn primarily from outside the Administration who shall be appointed by the Governor and serve at the pleasure of the Governor, without compensation and in strictly an advisory capacity.  Appointed Council members shall include persons with experience in and knowledge of the digital healthcare industry who can provide a diverse set of perspectives on the industry, including the views of providers, payers, investors, universities, and quasi-public agencies supporting the science and technology sectors of the Massachusetts economy.

Section 3.  The Council’s principal purposes shall be to lay a foundation for understanding how best to achieve a fully integrated digital healthcare industry in Massachusetts and to provide the Governor with a proposed three-year growth plan that will contain recommendations to promote and accelerate digital healthcare innovation across the Commonwealth.  In formulating its recommendations, the Council shall consider and address:

  1. The resources and strategies needed to help early, mid-stage, and scaling digital healthcare companies grow and compete;
  2. Opportunities to help the digital healthcare marketplace build better connections among digital healthcare customers and innovators in order to support efforts to bring new ideas to market;
  3. The alignment between the policies, programs, and resources of the Commonwealth and the workforce needs of the industry;
  4. The strengths of different regions in the Commonwealth, and how the industry can continue to thrive and offer benefits across the entire state;
  5. Opportunities for the Commonwealth, as a payer and customer of healthcare innovation, to harness the benefits of digital healthcare;
  6. Strategies for the Commonwealth to capitalize on the benefits of cross-sector collaboration in digital health, to ensure global leadership on the strength of advances in data analytics and cybersecurity;
  7. Potential changes to laws, policies and regulations that should be considered in order to support digital healthcare innovation;
  8. Opportunities to publicize and promote the digital healthcare sector and the Commonwealth’s unique resources for this sector; and
  9. The establishment of such programs and projects the Council believes necessary or desirable to implement the proposed growth plan.

The Council shall devise and propose for the Governor’s consideration a plan for the completion of its recommendations and shall from time to time, but at least annually, produce and deliver to the Governor a written report that describes the Council’s activities and progress towards its objectives.

Section 4.  The Council may establish such committees and working groups as are necessary and appropriate to facilitate its work. 

Section 5.  The Council shall be supported by staff from the Governor’s Office, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.  The Council also may utilize outside resources to provide consulting and other services as necessary to support its recommendations.

Section 6.  The Council, its committees, and its working groups may determine the procedures appropriate for conducting its proceedings and the Council is authorized to hold public meetings, fact-finding hearings, and other public forums to solicit feedback from business leaders, researchers, healthcare providers, healthcare consumers, and other interested persons. The Council shall consider information received from these sources in the development of its recommendations.

Section 7.  The Council shall terminate two years after the signing of this order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 31st day of October in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred forty-three.

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