Health Care

Commission wraps up health pricing discussions

Commission wraps up health pricing discussions

As ballot question talks go on, agency’s role unclear

THE STATE’S HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION on Thursday wrapped up a series of discussions with industry stakeholders on what to do about hospital pricing disparities, but the group seemed to have no clear plan on what to do next. As members offered up their ideas at the end of a two-hour meeting, some talked about broadening(...)

Read More »

Groups raise concern on hospital pricing talks

Groups raise concern on hospital pricing talks

Letter opposes new assessments on employers, health plans

THE HEADS OF NINE BUSINESS AND INSURANCE GROUPS sent a letter to top Beacon Hill leaders on Tuesday raising concerns about some of the proposals being considered to forestall a ballot question that would regulate hospital prices. The letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo indicated some of(...)

Read More »

Back to the future with Paul Ryan

Back to the future with Paul Ryan

House Speaker would undo key element of Affordable Care Act

THIS PAST WEEK at Georgetown University, House Speaker Paul Ryan proposed scrapping an essential component of the Affordable Care Act that bans health insurance companies from imposing pre-existing condition exclusions on consumers and prohibits the practice of “medical underwriting” to discriminate against anyone with a current or prior medical condition. Instead, he proposed, states could(...)

Read More »

Mass. health care reform turns 10

Mass. health care reform turns 10

A conservative think tank idea now reviled by the right

APRIL 12TH IS the 10th anniversary of the signing of Chapter 58, Massachusetts’s landmark universal health insurance law (An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care) that served as a key model for the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare) signed in March 2010.  A more compelling example of states as “laboratories of democracy”(...)

Read More »

Partners CEO makes his pitch

Partners CEO makes his pitch

Torchiana says hospital system isn’t Public Enemy No. 1

Photographs by Frank Curran DAVID TORCHIANA, THE CEO OF PARTNERS HEALTHCARE, speaks very softly for a man who is 6-feet-6, weighs north of 200 pounds, and goes by the nickname of Torch. He is sitting one morning in early March at a table in an 11th floor conference room at the Prudential Center, where the(...)

Read More »

Radically decentralize DCF’s responsibilities

Radically decentralize DCF’s responsibilities

Child welfare agency needs to be embedded in communities it serves

THE MASSACHUSETTS ORGANIZATION responsible for running the state’s child welfare system has had four different names over a period of 40 years, which is not a sign of success. Each change was prompted by widespread concern with the way the agency did its work. Extensive media coverage of terrible incidents involving vulnerable children despoiled the(...)

Read More »

Behind the Massachusetts Health Connector’s rehab

Behind the Massachusetts Health Connector’s rehab

Strong management, customer focus brought exchange website back from brink

AT 11:59 PM on October 31, 2015, about 20 nervous state officials and contractors hunched around computer terminals in a non-descript office in the Charles F. Hurley Building near Beacon Hill. Among them was Louis Gutierrez, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, appointed the previous February by newly inaugurated Gov. Charlie Baker. The launch(...)

Read More »

Out-of-network billing  surprises

Out-of-network billing surprises

Patients get charged for unexpected services not covered by their insurance

MARYLOU SUDDERS, the state’s secretary of health and human services, was going through some paperwork for her late sister when she came across a bill from a doctor for thousands of dollars that wasn’t covered by insurance. Sudders says the bill included charges for services that would have normally been paid by her sister’s insurer(...)

Read More »