Health Care

Business groups raise concerns about health bills

Business groups raise concerns about health bills

Say assessments will hike costs, not address underlying problems

MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS LEADERS on Thursday raised concerns about legislative efforts to provide financial support to struggling community hospitals, saying the measures will drive up costs and could destabilize the state’s health care industry. A letter from seven groups, including Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, indicated businesses were growing tired of(...)

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The real driver of health care spending

The real driver of health care spending

An inefficiency gap is boosting costs — and profits

THE HEALTH CARE DEBATES that occurred in Washington over the past year were largely irrelevant to what’s happening in the health care marketplace. Republicans couldn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act but they made some changes that weakened it. Those changes will increase insurance premiums in the individual market but they do nothing to address the(...)

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Study Valor Act before changing it

Study Valor Act before changing it

Sensationalizing outlier cases provides distorted picture of law

MASSACHUSETTS IS ON the brink of abandoning one of the most innovative criminal justice initiatives for veterans in the nation. In 2012, after a significant amount of research and debate, the Valor Act became law. Section 16 of the act established an alternative legal pathway for veterans charged with crimes that could reasonably be connected(...)

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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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Feds reject Baker bid to rein in pharmacy costs

Feds reject Baker bid to rein in pharmacy costs

State sought to restrict access to some MassHealth drugs

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT on Wednesday rejected a bid by the Baker administration to rein in pharmacy spending by restricting which drugs would be covered under its MassHealth program. “While it is disappointing that our request to more effectively control rising pharmacy costs was not approved at this time, we remain committed to finding more innovative(...)

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Middlemen drive up patient drug costs

Middlemen drive up patient drug costs

Insurers use pharmacy benefits managers to tilt playing field

AS LEADERS OF organizations dealing with two of the most difficult chronic conditions to treat – hemophilia and HIV/AIDS – we consistently hear stories about how patients living with these diseases are given the run around by insurers to obtain affordable access to the medications they need to manage their diseases. It’s an uphill battle;(...)

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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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Trump finally pulls plug on Obamacare

Trump finally pulls plug on Obamacare

One of former President Barack Obama's most important legacies comes to a close

President Trump is giving people more reasons to stay or move to Massachusetts. Late Thursday, the Justice Department announced it will no longer defend the provisions of the Affordable Care Act in a suit by 20 GOP-controlled states challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate. It’s a decision that will likely end the most important legacy of(...)

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Trump finally pulls plug on Obamacare

President Trump is giving people more reasons to stay or move to Massachusetts. Late Thursday, the Justice Department announced it will no longer defend the provisions of the Affordable Care Act in a suit by 20 GOP-controlled states challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate. It’s a decision that will likely end the most important legacy of(...)

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Withholding methadone from inmates is wrong

Withholding methadone from inmates is wrong

Addiction treatment is effective and inexpensive

I WILL NEVER forget the pained look on my patient Jorge’s face when I asked him why he stopped taking methadone to treat his opioid dependency. He was in my office, answering detailed intake questions to resume treatment for his addiction. Jorge came to me after a stint in county jail. He could not post(...)

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