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photo of Tom FriedmanTom Friedman

MPA alum working in key position in health law and economics in Boston

Tom Friedman (MPA ’07) serves as a Senior Research Policy Analyst at the Center for Health Law & Economics (CHLE) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Boston. CHLE consults states throughout New England on health policy issues ranging from long-term-care financing to the integration of care for dually eligible members to developing a home-health model. In addition, it provides support on several Medicaid challenges, including regulatory, financial, and program development.

Prior to working at CHLE, Friedman worked at resources consulting firm Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson) in Boston. “My responsibility was to develop health-insurance-premium and -contribution strategies for large employers. I learned how utilization and plan design affected the prices people pay for health care,” Friedman says, “and the most critical skill I gained was a solid analytical approach to working in the health care/policy finance space.” He also mentions he was actually recruited for this position by another IPA alumnus, so it pays to keep in touch with IPA.

What challenges are unique to Friedman as a Senior Research Policy Analyst?

“Massachusetts is very progressive when it comes to health policy,” Friedman says, “so I often find myself working on the ‘first’ national programs for a lot of Medicaid-related initiatives. This, for better or worse, means there aren’t national resources to leverage or knowledge to be learned from previous experience. I also work with four states, which means four governments, which means four administrations, each of which have different goals and political leanings!”  Friedman says that these challenges are what excite him most about his job. “Everyday is different, and everyday there could be a new fire to put out.”

Friedman credits the University of Delaware, IPA, and the IPA-managed Legislative Fellows Program for leading him down this career path. “I am pretty confident that I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now if it wasn’t for my time at IPA. Prior to UD and IPA, I wanted to get into nonprofit management; however, after being a Legislative Fellow and doing my internship with the National Governors’ Association, I knew I wanted to work in the political arena. I learned how fast things can move and how you can impact ‘the process.’” Specifically, he noted that Eric Jacobson’s Health Policy class changed his life by helping him decide to work in healthcare policy.

Friedman’s future aspirations relate to his experience as a Legislative Fellow as well as the class mentioned above. With tongue in cheek, Friedman says he hopes to take over Jacobson’s job when Jacobson retires or become a state/federal Medicaid director.

In his free time Friedman enjoys traveling the world; he most recently visited Turkey. He is also an avid Red Sox and Celtics fan.

photo courtesy of the UMass Medical School