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Data Analyst Researcher, LEAPS

The LEAPS Project is advancing the mission of the MIT NEWDIGS consortium through a new collaborative systems approach to the planning, generation, and use of evidence across R&D and healthcare delivery. A model system for Rheumatoid Arthritis will be piloted in Massachusetts (2020 launch), and will inform related efforts in other diseases and geographies. Success in LEAPS targets better patient outcomes while also reducing waste and inefficiency across the system.
The initial LEAPS pilot aims to improve the management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in Massachusetts. Appropriately scoping the pilot and quantifying opportunities requires an analysis of payer claims data to understand current practices for RA management in Massachusetts. This analysis will be based on claims data from the Massachusetts All-Payers Claims Database, which captures claims for most patients in Massachusetts (including both public and private payers).

We are looking for a Data Analyst researcher to complete this research project by September 1, 2019. This short-term role is flexible with regard to level and could lead to further work with the LEAPS project based on the interests of the individual and the needs of the project. This role could be filled by a student seeking a master’s degree with substantial big data experience with guidance from LEAPS personnel or an individual with prior experience in health claims data analysis functioning more independently. The end product will be a research report and presentation summarizing patient distribution and treatment pathways in Massachusetts. This information will be presented at a LEAPS “Design Lab” in December 2019 and may also be formatted as a poster for an external conference presentation.

Key responsibilities for this position include the following:

  • Partner with IT and LEAPS project personnel to finalize access to the Massachusetts All-Payer Claims Database (if not completed before start date)
  • Design and execute a protocol to extract a cohort of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and subgroups as appropriate
  • Tabulate, summarize and analyse the APCD RA extract to support ongoing efforts of the LEAPS modelling and simulation team
  • Work with other LEAPS project personnel to develop appropriate analytical cohorts based on claims continuity and disease stage (e.g. initiation on methotrexate or  ongoing therapy)
  • Analyse clinical and demographic characteristics of RA patients and distribution of treatment utilization overall, by major payer entity, by provider type and over time
  • Determine patterns of utilization by therapy, including duration of therapy, changes in dosage, and treatment holidays
  • Examine prescribing patterns across provider types, geographic distribution and compare with treatment guidelines
  • Examine changes in treatment overall and for large payer entities and examine proximal causes of changes in treatment including changes in provider, insurer, or health events
  • Summarize all treatments for each RA patient (not just treatment specific to RA) in order to estimate total cost of care
  • Manage and protect data in accordance with Data Management Plan and Data Usage Agreement


  • Experience in programming (e.g. SAS, Python, R, SQL) and working with big data
  • Experience in standardizing complex datasets
  • Familiarity with basic statistical modeling
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communications skills
  • Ability to work independently


  • Experience working with healthcare claims data
  • Experience with Rheumatoid Arthritis or related diseases
  • Knowledge of the US Healthcare system

This position is open and available to start immediately- full or part-time depending on availability and experience.
Send resume and cover letter to Kay Larholt:

We currently have 2 research positions available in our FoCUS Project:

About FoCUS

The MIT NEWDIGS consortium FoCUS Project seeks to collaboratively address the need for new, innovative financing and reimbursement models for durable and potentially curable therapies that ensure patient access and sustainability for all stakeholders. Our mission is to deliver an understanding of financial challenges created by these therapies leading to system-wide, implementable precision financing models. This multi-stakeholder effort gathers developers, providers, regulators, patient advocacy groups, payers from all segments of the US healthcare system, and academics working in healthcare policy, financing, and reimbursement in this endeavor.

Drug Development Pipeline Researcher
Students (undergraduate/graduate/post-doc) to assist in the analysis of the potential of the products in the pipeline to reach the market. Under the guidance of experts in the Healthcare Economics field, the researcher will use a current data set to map and catalog products by indication, as well as do detailed research into the status of clinical trials for cell and gene therapies. The ideal candidates (two or three individuals) are interested in Healthcare/Biology/Economics/Pre-Med and are available to work 10-15 hours per week and up to full-time during the summer months with possible extension into the Fall Semester, on this exciting academic research project using actual drug development pipeline data with more than 200 indications, medical background, and applied economics.

Please send CV and cover letter to Deborah Young at:

Patient Perspectives Research Assistant:
Students (undergraduate/graduate/post-doc) to assist in a mixed-methods workstream on the perspectives of patients and caregivers pertaining to financial challenges with their illnesses and treatment. The research questions include direct costs, resource navigation, employment and income, etc., and patient and caregiver needs for financing solutions. Under the direct supervision of MIT researchers, and the guidance of the wider stakeholder group comprising senior leaders in a range of organizations, the student will support gray literature searches, primary research with patients, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, and policy-makers, and the production of FoCUS-specific outputs, including publications. The ideal candidate will be interested in patient-centered healthcare and health policy, have demonstrated secondary research and communication skills, and be available to work 10-15 hours per week and up to full-time during the summer months with possible extension into the Fall Semester.

Please send CV and cover letter to Deborah Young at:

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.