Paul A. Hattis

Associate professor, Tufts University Medical School

Stories by Paul A. Hattis

5 takeaways from the Beth Israel-Lahey merger review

5 takeaways from the Beth Israel-Lahey merger review

Cost increases and lack of concern at Health Policy Commission are surprises

THE MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION’S preliminary review of the proposed BI-Lahey et al merger and the comments of the commissioners on that review surprised me a bit. Here are my five takes on those surprises: 1. The commission staff and the agency’s economic consultant, with their “willingness-to-pay” analysis, say that if the merger goes forward(...)

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A letter to Larry Bacow

A letter to Larry Bacow

Three suggestions as you take over as Harvard president

DEAR LARRY, As you begin your tenure as president of Harvard University next week, I wish you the very best. We appreciated all you did when you were the president of Tufts University; you really helped to make Tufts a better place. Having read your May interview with outgoing President Drew Faust in the Harvard Gazette, I appreciate that(...)

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House bill plays Robin Hood on health care

House bill plays Robin Hood on health care

Introduces concept of ‘unwarranted factors’ of price variation

THE HOUSE HEALTH CARE BILL breathes new life into an approach taken in the 2012 cost containment bill—using some Robin Hood-like assessments as a means to improve the financial plight facing some of our have-not health care providers. Essentially, the House bill attempts to raise some $450 million in assessments over three years to finance(...)

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Health Policy Commission should do more

Health Policy Commission should do more

Agency should listen more and weigh ballot question evidence

THE 2012 LAW CREATING the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) includes a provision setting up an advisory council to the executive director of the commission.  The charge to the advisory council is to “advise on the overall operation and policy of the commission.”  There are about 30 or so people drawn from various health care(...)

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Tracking hospital community investments

Tracking hospital community investments

Progress has been made, but there’s still work to do

IN FEBRUARY, ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY released her office’s revised community benefit guidelines for hospitals and for HMOs—with scant media attention.  This surprised the two of us a bit, as many a health policy discussion in recent years centered on issues of greater hospital accountability for investing resources to advance community health status, as well(...)

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Four thoughts for the GIC

Four thoughts for the GIC

Is Partners gaming the system with Neighborhood Health?

MANY OF US ARE BREATHING a sigh of relief with the hope that the Group Insurance Commission will vote to rescind its initial January 18 decision to accept the staff report and recommendation which, if carried out, would lead to over 100,000 state and municipal workers and their dependents having to switch health insurance plans(...)

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What’s likely to happen with the Partners-Eye and Ear deal

What’s likely to happen with the Partners-Eye and Ear deal

A no is in order, but a conditional approval may be likely

PARTNERS HEALTHCARE NEEDS a good dose of Vitamin N (a clear No) from either or both the Department of Public Health or the Attorney General with respect to its wanting to acquire Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary on terms that it has proposed. The Health Policy Commission completed its initial review of the proposed merger(...)

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5 takeaways from health cost trends hearings

5 takeaways from health cost trends hearings

Baker, Partners margins, and social determinants

HAVING ATTENDED the Health Policy Commission’s annual cost trend hearings earlier this month, I came away thinking about five interesting moments, which I present in the chronological order in which they occurred. 1. In his third time kicking off the hearings since his election as governor, Charlie Baker stayed consistent in the directional theme of(...)

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Beth Israel-Lahey merger causing some jitters

Beth Israel-Lahey merger causing some jitters

Can this ‘second system’ be a true competitor to Partners?

USUALLY SUMMERTIME is not chock full of key health care developments and related news stories.  Yes, there is always the strategic late August regulatory filings from our hospitals, where annual CEO salaries are published—with hospitals hoping that most people are away on vacation and not reading newspapers. But, clearly, this summer is different.  The circus(...)

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Moving beyond health cost targets

Moving beyond health cost targets

A struggle for the soul of the Health Policy Commission

IN LATE MARCH, the board of the Health Policy Commission voted unanimously to leave the 2018 cost growth benchmark for total state health care expenditures at 3.1 percent. This target for per-person growth in health spending was set under our 2012 cost containment law as the predicted growth in the state’s overall economy for 2018(...)

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