Compass Health Analytics is a team of industry specialists with hands-on experience with hospitals, managed care organizations, and national consulting firms. Our professionals combine that experience with unique skills and an intense focus on the needs of each client.

James P. Highland, PhD, MHSA


Jim has a unique background in health care finance, insurance, health economics, and health care information systems. Building on the Compass team’s expertise in actuarial methods and data management, his work has focused on using health care data, analysis, and model building to advise state policy makers and executives in community health care organizations on issues related to health care costs, insurance coverage, payment systems, strategic planning, pricing, contracting, and investment decisions.

Prior to founding Compass in 1997, Jim’s experience included positions with a large multi-hospital system, a prominent Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, and two health care consulting firms with national and international operations. Jim’s background includes extensive experience in the insurance and provider payment issues facing regulators as well as public and non-profit payers, particularly the financial aspects of expanding access to health care. He has done in-depth work on the costs of coverage under new programs and benefit plans, including assessing health reform initiatives targeted at expanding affordable coverage, analyzing health insurance benefit mandates, and projecting the costs of integrating separate public insurance programs. He has also analyzed and advised executive decision makers on payment systems, incentives, and risk bearing.

Jim holds a Ph.D. in applied economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied health economics and the economics of risk and insurance. In addition, he holds a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, with concentrations in finance and information systems, and a B.A. in economics, with honors, from Northwestern University. In 2009 he was appointed by the Governor to Maine’s Advisory Council on Health System Development, which advised the Maine Legislature on health policy priorities. Jim has taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the Sloan Program in Health Administration at Cornell University, and the University of Maine System’s Muskie School of Public Service.