Please note: Application deadline is Friday, February 12, 2021.
The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC), is an independent state agency that develops policy to reduce health care cost growth and improve the quality of patient care. The HPC’s mission is to advance a more transparent, accountable, and equitable health care system through its independent policy leadership and innovative investment programs. The HPC’s goal is better health and better care – at a lower cost – for all residents across the Commonwealth.
The HPC seeks exceptional students for its annual Summer Fellowship program. The agency plans to hire up to thirteen (13) fellows for a ten-week program spanning June 7, 2021 to August 20, 2021. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the HPC continues to operate remotely and the 2021 Summer Fellowship program will be conducted virtually. As with the 2020 Summer Fellowship class, fellows will work remotely and connect daily with their assigned department to guide a project from inception to completion, while also exploring the intersection of HPC goals and their own academic interests. Past fellowship projects have ranged from conducting research and analysis on data in the All-Payer Claims Database to drafting a brief on opportunities for Massachusetts to expand access to and use of telehealth.
A full summary of fellows and projects from the 2020 Summer Fellowship Program can be found here.
The 2019 Summer Fellowship Program summary can be found here.
Fellows will be expected to participate in an orientation program and a series of organized educational activities throughout the summer. In addition, fellows will be expected to complete the following:
- Submit a 250 word reflection on their work with the HPC during the summer;
- Present a summary of their summer project to all HPC staff; and
- Any other requirements stated by their university or supervisor.
Individuals who participate in the 2021 HPC Summer Fellowship program will assist the HPC with meeting the Commonwealth’s health care cost containment and quality improvement goals by supporting ongoing projects of the agency. Fellowships are available in all departments. Please indicate which team(s) you are applying to support on the application.
Office of the Chief of Staff
The Office of the Chief of Staff (COS) ensures that the HPC delivers high-quality, transparent work on the Massachusetts health care system through its role as a convener, researcher, partner, and watchdog. COS is responsible for guaranteeing that HPC deliverables are communicated transparently to various audiences and stakeholders. This is completed through management of the HPC’s external affairs efforts, including media, legislative, intergovernmental, and stakeholder relations. COS also manages the administration and finance of the HPC, including agency operations, human resources, fiscal management, special projects, and public events. Coleen Elstermeyer, MPP, Deputy Executive Director, leads this department and provides high-level strategic support to the Executive Director and Board members in their official capacity.
Office of the General Counsel
The Office of the General Counsel (Legal) provides legal counsel and advice on a wide range of strategic, policy, and operational issues for the agency. The Legal department is responsible for supporting the HPC’s policy and legal work, including the development of regulations and oversight of agency compliance functions, and is led by Lois H. Johnson, Esq.
Health Care Transformation and Innovation
The Health Care Transformation and Innovation (HCTI) department is responsible for developing a coordinated strategy to advance care delivery transformation policy and programs, including designing and implementing the agency’s investment programs. HCTI is responsible for administering several programs designed to catalyze care delivery transformation in the Commonwealth. The Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation (CHART) program, the Health Care Innovation Investment (HCII) program, and the SHIFT-Care Challenge collectively represent a key component of the HPC’s efforts to increase health care quality, equity, and access while reducing cost growth in the Commonwealth. HCTI also advances the Commonwealth’s goals of accelerating adoption of new integrated care models through state certification programs for patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) and accountable care organizations (ACOs) and enhanced transparency of such efforts. The department – in collaboration with other state agencies and stakeholders — works to promote and align innovative care delivery and payment models and address upstream causes of poor health outcomes. Through these efforts, HCTI supports the HPC’s vision of a care delivery system that reduces spending and improves health for all residents by delivering coordinated, patient-centered, and efficient health care that reflects patients’ behavioral, social, and medical needs. The HCTI department is led by Kelly Hall.
Market Oversight and Transparency
The Market Oversight and Transparency (MOAT) department is responsible for advancing the HPC’s statutory charge to encourage a more value-based health care market. This includes (1) developing and implementing a first-in-the-nation Registration of Provider Organizations (RPO) program to provide transparency on the composition and function of provider organizations in the health care system, (2) tracking and evaluating the impact of significant health care provider changes on the competitive market and on the state’s ability to meet the health care cost growth benchmark through review of material change notices (MCNs) and cost and market impact reviews (CMIRs), (3) evaluating the performance of individual health care providers and payers which threaten the health care cost growth benchmark and overseeing Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) to improve the cost performance of such entities, and (4) collaborating with other HPC departments to catalyze improvements in the performance of the health care system. Beginning in 2020, the MOAT team also helps manage pharmaceutical spending by conducting reviews of high-cost drugs referred to it by MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid Program, and assessing if the pricing is unreasonable or excessive in relation to the value. MOAT is led by Kate Scarborough Mills, Esq., MPH.
Office of Patient Protection
The Office of Patient Protection (OPP) safeguards important rights of health insurance consumers. Implementing certain provisions of M.G.L. Chapter 176O, OPP regulates the internal grievance process for consumers who wish to challenge denials of coverage by health plans and regulates and administers the external review process for consumers who seek further review of adverse determinations by health plans based on medical necessity. OPP is also charged with regulating similar internal and external review processes for patients of Risk Bearing Provider Organizations and HPC-certified ACOs. OPP also administers and grants enrollment waivers to eligible individuals who seek to purchase non-group insurance when open enrollment is closed. Additionally, OPP assists consumers with general questions or concerns relating to health insurance. OPP is led by Nancy Ryan, Esq., MPH.
Research and Cost Trends
The Research and Cost Trends (RCT) department fulfills the HPC’s statutory charge to examine spending trends and underlying factors and to develop evidence-based recommendations for strategies to increase the efficiency of the health care system. Using the state’s all-payer claims database (APCD) among other data sources and cutting-edge methods, RCT draws on significant research and analytical expertise to inform, motivate, and support action to maintain the benchmark and the goals of Chapter 224. RCT is responsible for producing the HPC’s annual health care cost trends report and contributes subject matter expertise to the annual hearing on cost trends as well as special research projects as determined by the Executive Director and the Board. The RCT department is led by David Auerbach, PhD.
Applicants must currently be enrolled full-time in a Master’s, PhD, law, or medical program. All applicants must have prior internship or fellowship experience and strong written and oral communication skills.
The ideal Fellow is a strong problem-solver, a clear and concise writer of technical and policy content, and has an ability to understand stakeholder perspectives. Successful candidates will be collaborative, entrepreneurial, self-motivated, and passionate about health policy. Your cover letter should state the reasons you would like to work for the HPC this summer and the team(s) to which you are applying.
Fellows will be expected to work full time for ten weeks spanning from June 7, 2021 to August 20, 2021. Fellows will be paid $20/hour for a total summer payment of up to $7,500. Fellows will be required to sign a contract regarding the obligations of the program. Candidates who are called for an interview will be required to provide three references during the interview process on a form provided by the HPC. A background check will be completed on the recommended candidate.