To Faculty, Staff, and Students,
I am pleased to report that the Working Group convened by President Hockfield in December 2005 in response to the report of the Task Force on Medical Care for the MIT Community has completed its work, reviewing and successfully addressing all forty-one of the report’s recommendations.
On the basis of careful analysis, the Institute has dedicated resources for new personnel and programs while working to ensure that existing investments are used most effectively. In many cases, the implementation process has meant the introduction not only of new practices but also of new tools for assessment and ongoing improvement. The activities of the working group have also built a team that will continue to work collaboratively to advance these issues in the future.
I would like to highlight just some of the major actions we have taken to address the report’s recommendations.
With respect to the Medical Department, major accomplishments to date have included increased clinical staffing, including both internists and nurses; improved access and services in mental health, dental, and wellness programs; and the development of new tools for quality assessment. We have also assessed and enhanced the financial management systems and processes that support our provision of medical care, so that our investments in clinical services can have the greatest long-term impact. The Center for Health Promotion and Wellness continues to advance its efforts to help members of the community to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, attitudes, and lifestyles.
At the same time, we have increased the share of health insurance costs borne by the Institute in order to slow the rate of premium increases for plan subscribers. We have also evaluated and negotiated favorable plans and/or pricing for medical care, dental care, and prescriptions. Looking ahead, the analytical framework is in place to support even more effective use of the health insurance premiums paid by MIT and members of the community.
Full information on all our actions to date with respect to each of the recommendations is available on this website as a Final Report. We will also be sharing information about the implementation of the recommendations with the community in future issues of MIT Tech Talk and the Faculty Newsletter.
This initiative has strengthened both our medical services and our health insurance programs, while establishing a process and framework that will better enable MIT to manage these challenges in the future. Going forward, the Medical Department and Benefits will continue the creative partnership they have established to develop a comprehensive health, wellness, and disability strategy for our community.
The members of the working group were Tricia Fay (Director of Benefits), Sherwin Greenblatt (then EVP and Treasurer), Bill Kettyle (Director, MIT Medical), Jim Morgan (Controller), and Israel Ruiz (Director of Finance). I would like to thank them, along with their departmental colleagues, for all their hard work and commitment to help improve the state of medical services and health insurance programs for the entire MIT community. We remain deeply grateful to Professor Paul Joskow and his colleagues on the Medical Task Force for providing us with such a thoughtful and comprehensive assessment on which to build even stronger health care programs for the Institute’s faculty, students, and staff.
Executive Vice President and Treasurer