Health Care

Baker’s big health care move

Baker’s big health care move

Revamping MassHealth offers great potential — and great risks

FOR THE THIRD time since 1996, the Massachusetts Medicaid program, called MassHealth, is preparing for transformation. After submitting a final proposal in July, state officials are anxiously awaiting a decision on the plan from the US Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. The goals are to: first, transform how medical services are delivered to many(...)

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Insurers raise concerns on Children’s

Insurers raise concerns on Children’s

Urge DPH to reconsider backing of hospital expansion

THE MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION OF HEALTH PLANS on Monday urged the Department of Public Health to reconsider its conditional support for a proposed expansion at Boston Children’s Hospital. Lora Pellegrini, the president and CEO of the group that represents 17 health plans, wrote Monday to Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, expressing concerns over the “potential shift(...)

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Baker’s DPH backs Children’s expansion

Baker’s DPH backs Children’s expansion

Support conditional on cost control mechanisms

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH has recommended approval of a $1 billion expansion at Boston Children’s Hospital, a step that moves the controversial project closer to fruition. The expansion includes construction of a new 11-story tower at the hospital’s main Longwood Medical Area and an eight-story ambulatory care center in(...)

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Health panel raises concern on Children’s expansion

Health panel raises concern on Children’s expansion

Says $1b project could increase market share, increase spending

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE PROPOSED EXPANSIONS at Boston Children’s Hospital carry a likelihood of increased health care spending in Massachusetts and could potentially drive competing providers out of business, according to the state’s Health Policy Commission. In a letter the commission voted Tuesday to submit to the Department of Public Health, chairman Stuart Altman wrote(...)

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Cerberus begins recouping Steward investment

Cerberus begins recouping Steward investment

MA hospital company sells hospitals, raises $1.25b

CERBERUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT started recouping its investment in Steward Health Care on Monday as the Massachusetts-based hospital system announced it was raising $1.25 billion through a deal with an Alabama company. Steward sold five of its nine hospitals to Medical Properties Trust of Birmingham, Alabama, for $600 million and agreed to lease them back under(...)

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Good old times never existed

Good old times never existed

State hospitals, schools did more harm than good

AS A YOUNG BOY with cerebral palsy, I lived in a state institution. As a young Boston College graduate, I worked in a state institution. As a member of the Massachusetts Senate, I successfully sponsored legislation to close state institutions. My actions as a Senator were inspired by, and directly resulted from my experiences, as(...)

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Hospital pricing deliberations begin

Hospital pricing deliberations begin

Outcome uncertain as commission’s 22 members start talking

THE 22 MEMBERS OF THE SPECIAL COMMISSION set up to address unwarranted price variation among the state’s health care providers held their first meeting on Tuesday, with one of the cochairs jokingly saying it felt like an episode of Survivor. The commission was created earlier this year as part of a deal to head off(...)

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Mass. health care spending up 3.9%

Mass. health care spending up 3.9%

MassHealth and pharmaceutical costs drive increase above benchmark

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Spending on health care in Massachusetts rose to $57.2 billion in 2015, growing more slowly than in 2014 but for the second straight year outpacing the benchmark set under a 2012 cost containment law, according to a new state report. The 3.9 percent growth in total health care spending, estimated in(...)

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Baker pushes health care competition

Baker pushes health care competition

DPH commissioner helping to lead the way

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION is showing signs that it wants to get more aggressive about encouraging greater competition between health care providers. Monica Bharel, the commissioner of the Department of Public Health, is sending the strongest signals. Her agency is preparing to issue new regulations next week that will spell out how the state will handle(...)

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Prison is no place to treat mentally ill

Prison is no place to treat mentally ill

Bridgewater State should be run by Dept. of Mental Health

IN APRIL, LEO MARINO, a 43-year-old man with a long history of suicide attempts, killed himself in an isolation unit at Bridgewater State Hospital (BSH). He’d managed to choke himself with a large amount of wet, wadded-up toilet paper – materials that staffers made readily available to him despite the fact he tried to end(...)

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