David Polakoff
David Polakoff

David Polakoff, MD, MSc


Health Management Associates

Boston, MA

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An innovative leader and recognized expert in public policy, healthcare for seniors, and population health, David Polakoff, MD, is a seasoned consultant, executive, and healthcare leader.

Before joining HMA, Dr. Polakoff held various executive and leadership roles at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Commonwealth Medicine, the University’s public sector consulting division, serving as chief medical officer, director of health policy and research, associate dean, professor, and executive director of the Center for Health Innovation and Quality.

As executive director, he led the Center for Health Quality and Research which represents a large operating group of Commonwealth Medicine, including medical management services, health services and survey research, training and education, health and human services consulting and technical assistance, and laboratory services. He provided executive leadership and oversight to large scale programs including the rebuild of the Massachusetts health insurance exchange to align with the Affordable Care Act, a state-wide multi-payer patient centered medical home initiative, and a $29 million award from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to assist thousands of practices in the adoption of value-based reimbursement.

In addition, Dr. Polakoff served as chief medical officer of the Office of Clinical Affairs for Massachusetts’ nation-leading Medicaid program, MassHealth, the program upon which the 2010 national healthcare reform was modeled.

During his time at MassHealth, he served on the plan’s executive leadership team with responsibility for coverage policy, quality measurement and management, and the pharmacy program, including a self-contained public pharmacy benefit manager. He also oversaw utilization management, provider review and credentialing, clinical analytics, and clinical information technology.

As an internist specializing in geriatric medicine, he often speaks on policy and clinical care issues such as housing for an aging population, management of chronic illness, Medicare and Medicaid policy, and quality improvement across healthcare settings. He has also held academic and hospital appointments at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Harvard Medical School and Boston University.

Dr. Polakoff earned his medical degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. He completed a residency in internal medicine at University Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in geriatric medicine through a combined program at Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine. He also earned a Master of Science in epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY, Buffalo.