Judith Steinberg, MD, MPH


Chief Medical Officer, Bureau of Primary Health Care, HRSA, Rockville, MD

Dr. Judith Steinberg is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine and the Senior Director of the Office of Healthcare Innovation & Quality in Commonwealth Medicine’s Center for Health Policy and Research. She leads the team at UMass Medical School that is implementing the MA statewide, multi-payer Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Initiative and the team at MassHealth that is designing the clinical model for the MassHealth Primary Care Payment Reform Initiative. She is also leading a statewide end of life care project.  Dr. Steinberg is a Clinical Associate Professor in the departments of Medicine and Family Medicine and Community Health at UMass Medical School.

Before joining UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine, Dr. Steinberg served as the Medical Director of Neponset Health Center in Boston. Prior to that, she was the HIV Program Director at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. She was an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Medical Center, as well as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She continues to practice medicine at Neponset Health Center and at UMass Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Steinberg is a member of the National Association of Community Health Centers, and serves as a member of its Clinical Practice and Program Committee and the HIV and Behavioral Health Committee. She serves on several committees and boards in MA and RI, focusing on quality improvement, primary care, payment reform, public health and global health. She presents locally and nationally on the PCMH, behavioral health and primary care integration, and HIV care and the PCMH. 

Dr. Steinberg received her medical degree from the University of Texas at Dallas Southwestern Medical School, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston and an infectious disease fellowship at Beth Israel/Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, Boston.   In 2007-2008 she was a Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellow in Minority Health Policy and in 2008 received a MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.


September 30, 2015

UMass Medical School, in partnership with UConn, was awarded funding to develop and implement a Practice Transformation Network for Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Congratulations to Judith Steinberg, CFMF Fellow (2007-08) who is the Co-PI of this project

Promoting Quality Improvement: Aligning Performance Measurements and Incentives in Massachusetts


Building on health reform legislation passed in 2006, The HealthyMassCompact was formed to improve health care in Massachusetts (MA).  The compact is a collaborative of 9 state agencies.  This project involves the work of one of the HealthyMass Compact initiatives, “Aligning Performance Measures and Incentives.”  Purchasers and payers use performance measurement and financial incentives, such as pay for performance (P4P), to improve health care quality but current programs suffer from administrative inefficiency, contradictory results, small sample sizes and payments, and lack of attention to racial and ethnic health disparities.


To develop a taskforce that will address alignment of performance measures and incentives across public and private payers. Specifically, to work with state officials to define and implement a strategy and to serve as a content expert and member of the taskforce.


Literature review, interviews with health policy and economics experts, interviews with directors of health quality organizations from other states.  Methods also included defining taskforce members, setting meeting agendas and determining learning content for strategy development and meetings.


Using lessons learned from other states’ health care quality initiatives, a strategy was developed and implemented.  A state taskforce will be expanded to a state/external partner taskforce.  A neutral leader and external partners, such as private payers and providers, were identified.  Learning components that were developed include a grid of current performance measures used by 6 MA payers, and PowerPoint presentations on models of performance measurement alignment in other states and the effect of P4P on health disparities.  California’s Integrated Healthcare Association’s P4P program was determined most applicable.  P4P can have adverse effects on health disparities and access to care.


By aligning health care performance measures and incentives across public and private payers, efficiency, validity and incentives can be increased.   Applying lessons learned from other states’ initiatives and from the literature, this effort will require a neutral convener of diverse stakeholders, leadership, collaboration, and incorporation of design strategies to monitor and reduce health disparities. 


Sarah Iselin, Massachusetts Commissioner of Health Care Finance and Policy