Health Care

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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Death of a cancer lab

Death of a cancer lab

Once-thriving publicly funded research program driven into bankruptcy by questionable characters

FEW PLACES HAVE the resources and brain power to match Boston when it comes to biomedical research, including the search for effective ways to treat and prevent cancer. Internationally renowned hospitals, combined with some of the leading universities in the world, make the region a magnet for top researchers and the funding that fuels their(...)

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Red states dodge a Medicaid bullet

Red states dodge a Medicaid bullet

Under-the-radar attempt to repeal entitlement unlikely to go away

REPUBLICANS IN WASHINGTON couldn’t cobble together enough votes in March from their own party to repeal and replace Obamacare. President Trump learned that health care is more complicated than he thought and quickly put the Affordable Care Act in his rearview mirror. House Republicans, who had symbolically voted dozens of times to repeal the ACA,(...)

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Bending the Medicaid cost curve

Bending the Medicaid cost curve

Massachusetts is betting big on accountable care organizations

IN A WILDLY uncertain national health care environment, something new, audacious, and risky is happening in MassHealth, the Medicaid program that provides health coverage to 1.9 million people who are poor, elderly, and persons with disabilities in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is betting that an emerging health care delivery and payment model, called “accountable(...)

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Big Pharma hides costs with bait and switch

Big Pharma hides costs with bait and switch

Drug companies offer copay breaks to get big insurance payments

THE ADS FOR high-end prescription drugs seem ubiquitous. Invokana, Xarelto, Abilify, and Humira are just a few names familiar to anyone with a television. The drugs are some of the stars of the more than $5 billion in direct-to-consumer advertising the pharmaceutical industry does each year to convince patients to ask their doctors to prescribe(...)

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House budget OKs Medicaid levy

House budget OKs Medicaid levy

Dempsey defers to Baker on business assessment

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE THE HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE on Monday unanimously advanced a $40.3 billion spending blueprint for next year that would greenlight the Baker administration’s plan to levy an assessment on employers to help pay for MassHealth, but only after a public hearing process aimed at giving the business an opportunity to air their(...)

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Repeal challenge: Republicans love Obamacare

Repeal challenge: Republicans love Obamacare

GOP leaders contend with the politics of poll numbers

REPUBLICANS APPEAR TO BE preparing another run at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. The New York Times reported Tuesday that a new version of the wildly unpopular American Health Care Act may be in the works. The initial bill was pulled last month after it lost support on both the right and left(...)

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Health spending benchmark lowered to 3.1%

Health spending benchmark lowered to 3.1%

State has had trouble meeting old target of 3.6%

THE MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION voted unanimously on Wednesday to lower the state’s 2018 benchmark for health care spending growth from 3.6 percent to 3.1 percent, a move that some members worried might be largely aspirational. The benchmark has been 3.6 percent since 2013, and the state has met that target only once, in 2013.(...)

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Obamacare more durable than expected

Obamacare more durable than expected

The state of play post-Trump/RyanCare

GLOBAL HEALTH EXPERT Michael Reich says that the acid test of any national health reform comes when a new national administration takes over. Only when a new president or prime minister assumes power can we judge the stability and staying power of any health system reform. In the US, that’s this moment. Since November 8,(...)

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Baker: Health bill could cost state $2b by 2022

Baker: Health bill could cost state $2b by 2022

Republican legislation would cut federal aid to MA

THE REPUBLICAN HEALTH CARE BILL pending in Congress could cost Massachusetts $1 billion in federal revenue in 2020, a figure that could rise to nearly $2 billion by 2022, according to an analysis of the legislation by the Baker administration. In a letter to the state’s congressional delegation on Tuesday, Baker extrapolated the impact on(...)

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