Health Care

Price commision weighs impacts of tiered health plans

Price commision weighs impacts of tiered health plans

Plans could help drive down total medical spending

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE INCREASING THE POPULARITY of tiered health insurance plans could help drive down total medical spending, industry leaders agreed Tuesday, but hospitals and insurers aren’t necessarily on the same page about how to do it. A special commission studying how the state might reduce provider price variation in the health care system(...)

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Mass. = primary care doctor desert

Mass. = primary care doctor desert

41% of state has little to no access to physicians

MASSACHUSETTS IS ARGUABLY home to the best hospitals, doctors, and medical research institutions in the world. The best and brightest attend our medical schools and many will subsequently live and practice in the Commonwealth. Yet, when it comes to the foundation of our healthcare system, our primary care physicians, Massachusetts has an overlooked and worsening(...)

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Repealing Obamacare won’t fix health care

Repealing Obamacare won’t fix health care

Medical, insurance bureaucracy will still remain a mess

“ALL BUREAUCRACIES, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, are the same” is a motto I have lived by for years, and it applies to the health care and health insurance bureaucracies. I purchase a full price individual health insurance policy on the Massachusetts Health Connector, and previously purchased an individual policy before the implementation of Obamacare. It is(...)

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Trump poised to dump Affordable Care Act

Trump poised to dump Affordable Care Act

Health and human services nominee is leading critic of landmark law

PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP has nominated Rep. Tom Price of George, an orthopedic surgeon and the House Budget Committee chairman, to be his first secretary of health and human services. For those lulled into believing that Trump was moderating his views on the Affordable Care Act because of recent statements on 60 Minutes that he leaned(...)

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Good health goes beyond health care

Good health goes beyond health care

Social needs, like food and housing, must be addressed

WITH MORE THAN 1.8 MILLION Massachusetts residents covered by MassHealth at a cost of more than $15 billion, there is no doubt that Massachusetts is committed to ensuring that care is within reach for those who need it. The question now is how to ensure that this funding is effectively used to improve health and(...)

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State gains approval for big Medicaid overhaul

State gains approval for big Medicaid overhaul

Baker administration secures waiver worth $52b over 5 years

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT today approved a huge infusion of money to Massachusetts and big restructuring of the state’s Medicaid program, known as MassHealth. The five-year $52.4 billion waiver is major win for the Baker administration, and especially for Health & Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and Medicaid director Daniel Tsai. The new waiver will preserve(...)

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$1b Children’s Hospital expansion approved

$1b Children’s Hospital expansion approved

Despite health care cost concerns, Baker, Walsh back plan

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE State health officials on Thursday gave Boston Children’s Hospital the green light to move forward with a controversial $1 billion expansion. The Public Health Council voted 10-0 in favor of the expansion, with one abstention. “This is a project about patients. This is a project for the patient,” hospital president and(...)

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Improving health outcomes through social services

Improving health outcomes through social services

Interest grows in integrating health care and social service spending

WHAT IF THE answer to ever-rising health care costs doesn’t lie in figuring out better ways to deliver medical care, but in things like ensuring access to good nutrition, adequate housing, or even job training? That was the outside-the-health-care-box message members of the state Health Policy Commission heard on Tuesday morning from health policy researcher(...)

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State agency examines pricing of drugs

State agency examines pricing of drugs

Health Policy Commission solicits advice from experts

FOUR EXPERTS on prescribing, paying for, and manufacturing pharmaceuticals on Tuesday offered the state’s Health Policy Commission a series of recommendations on how to curb rising drug costs, but first they had to hash out whether pharmaceutical prices were a serious problem. Over two days of hearings on health cost trends, the Health Policy Commission(...)

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Prices biggest cause for rising health costs

Prices biggest cause for rising health costs

Spending rose more slowly than previous year but still above state goal

IT’S THE PRICE, stupid. That was the message delivered at the first day of annual state hearings on health care cost trends with experts and officials pointing the finger at pharmaceutical costs coupled with federal red tape in approving new drugs as key factors keeping Massachusetts from meeting spending goals Health care spending in Massachusetts(...)

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