Skip to content Skip to navigation

Massachusetts Governor Launches Digital Healthcare Council

November 28, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has announced the creation of a Digital Healthcare Council, a public-private partnership that will advise the administration on the future of the state’s digital healthcare industry.

The council stems from the momentum of the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative, which Gov. Baker’s administration launched in January with the aim to create a hub for health IT innovation in Boston. And now, the Massachusetts Digital Health Council will help steer and shape that initiative, as its initial responsibility will be to deliver a three-year growth plan to the governor with recommendations and objectives for ways the state can promote and accelerate digital healthcare innovation across the Commonwealth. The council will also establish and support projects that bolster the implementation of the growth plan, reporting on their progress via an annual report on the Council’s progress towards its objectives, officials noted.

More specifically, according to a press release from Gov. Baker’s office, the just-formed council will convene leaders across the digital healthcare industry, including technology, healthcare delivery, insurance, medical devices, the life sciences, academia, and government, to advise on ways new digital technologies can improve healthcare in the state, grow jobs, and reduce healthcare costs.

Last week, Gov. Baker convened the first meeting of the Digital Health Council at the Massachusetts General Hospital Museum of Medical History and Innovation. The session focused on strategies and tactics that can help Massachusetts grow innovative digital health technologies. According to officials, “The digital health market spans a number of technologies Massachusetts is an established leader in, including the life sciences, electronic health records (EHRs), consumer wearable devices, care systems, payment management, big data analytics and telemedicine. The digital health market is estimated to grow to $32 billion over the next decade.”

The council will be co-chaired by Katie Stebbins, assistant secretary of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, chairman, president and CEO of Boston-based Vertex, a pharmaceutical company. The council will meet at least four times per year, and will be supported by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI). The members of the council include several digital health IT experts in the region, including notable CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess System, Dr. John Halamka, Dr. Atul Gawande, executive director, Ariadne Labs at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and others.

“For Massachusetts to become a national leader in digital health, we need to continue to build on the momentum our Digital Health Initiative has already produced,” Gov. Baker said in a statement. “This council will collaborate to move past barriers in the healthcare industry and solve significant challenges to make advances in patient care, lower health care costs, and address public health crises, like the opioid epidemic.”

Topics

News

New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Revalidated as EMRAM Stage 7

Due to its use of RFID technology to improve patient care and outcomes, New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital (NYPBMH) has received acute care Stage 7 revalidation on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).

Dana Alexander Named 2016 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Leadership Award Winner

Dana Alexander, R.N., has been named the recipient of the 2016 HIMSS-ANI Nursing Informatics Leadership Award, a joint award sponsored by Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI) and HIMSS.

Agency Leadership Update: Collins Stays at NIH, Bindman Leaves AHRQ

As President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in as the United States’ 45th president at noon today, there has been an ongoing administration shuffle as agency leaders have stepped down as part of the presidential transition.

Reports: Indiana Cancer Services Agency Hacked, Won’t Pay Ransom

Earlier this month, Cancer Services of East Central Indiana- Little Red Door’s terminal server and backup drive were hacked by cybercriminal TheDarkOverlord, leading to a ransom demand that the cancer services facility will not pay, according to media reports.

Insurer to Pay $2.2M HIPAA Settlement for Disclosure of Unsecured ePHI

MAPFRE Life Insurance Company of Puerto Rico has agreed to settle potential noncompliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules by paying $2.2 million.

Avoidable Hospitalizations among LTC Residents Drops by 31 Percent

A data brief from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revealed that avoidable hospitalizations among long-term care facility residents has dropped by about 31 percent since 2010.