Health Exchange Lessons From Massachusetts

A report by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) examines the work and lessons learned from “Early Innovator” and other advanced states as they gear up for the changes brought on by health care reform.

“There are huge opportunities but also technological challenges for states as they implement the requirements of health care reform, including many that take effect in 2014,” said Michael Tutty, director of the Office of Health Policy and Technology at UMMS, and co-author of the report. “We hope that by sharing the experiences of other states, particularly those that have been working on implementation the longest, we can bend the learning curve for policymakers and promote collaboration among those looking to prepare for and advance health care reform in their states.”

Five themes emerged from interviews with policy and technology leaders:

1) Agreeing on a common vision, strategy, and plan for IT development is essential for meeting fast-approaching ACA deadlines.
2) A careful assessment of a state’s internal and external IT resources is needed.
3) A complicated and pressing challenge is to integrate policy and technology between an Exchange and a state’s Medicaid program.
4) Leveraging federal resources, reusing technologies developed by other states and federal agencies, and participating in multi-state collaboratives may accelerate development and help minimize operational costs.
5) Despite federal and state policy, technology, and political uncertainties, proceeding with development is necessary in order to meet aggressive federal implementation deadlines.

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Last Updated 06/29/2022

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