Health Care

Nurse staffing study left union in the dark

Nurse staffing study left union in the dark

Nurses’ association faults state panel on pivotal report

THE CONTENTIOUS BALLOT QUESTION campaign over nurse staffing levels may be over, but bitter feelings remain over a study that played a pivotal role in the high-profile debate. In early October, the state Health Policy Commission released an analysis estimating the potential impacts of Question 1, which would have mandated minimum nurse staffing levels in(...)

Read More »

Sudders takes wrong tack on drug costs   

Sudders takes wrong tack on drug costs  

Regulating pharmaceutical prices would kill innovation

MARYLOU SUDDERS, the Baker administration’s secretary of health and human services, is a model public servant. Honest, smart, and an advocate for vulnerable people, the Commonwealth is lucky to have her. That said, her recent op-ed advocating government “rate setting” for drug prices in the MassHealth program displays an alarming misunderstanding of the business model(...)

Read More »

We need better tools to control pharma prices

We need better tools to control pharma prices

With many drug makers facing no competition, the market isn't working

FROM THE BEGINNING of the Baker-Polito Administration, managing MassHealth has been a top priority.  We are pleased with the progress made to date, including its first major systems overhaul in 20 years, implementing strong internal controls, and reducing the growth rate from double digit numbers. However, it is evident that additional major structural reforms are(...)

Read More »

Nurse staffing measure soundly defeated

Nurse staffing measure soundly defeated

Uncertainty over impact doomed ballot question

TOO MUCH DOUBT raised about its impact and too much division even among those who were supposed to be its bedrock backers. That double whammy proved deadly for the campaign to mandate minimum nurse staffing levels in Massachusetts as voters soundly defeated Question 1 on Tuesday. Based on incomplete returns, the ballot measure was being(...)

Read More »

Yes on 3 is a healthy choice

Yes on 3 is a healthy choice

Referendum on transgender rights affects more than bathroom access

ALL OF US know that accessing basic health care and emergency medical care treatment is essential to taking care of ourselves and our families. This November, voters will have a unique opportunity to uphold a Massachusetts state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations, which includes hospitals and doctors’ offices. Voting Yes(...)

Read More »

Researchers at odds on agency’s nurse staffing report

Researchers at odds on agency’s nurse staffing report

Those cited in HPC document disagree with some of the findings

THE HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION’S REPORT early last month on the potential effects of Question 1 was portrayed as an independent, objective analysis, but many of the researchers whose work was cited in the report disagree with at least some of the findings. The commission, an independent watchdog agency set up to monitor and find ways(...)

Read More »

Q1: A blunt instrument for a complex problem

Q1: A blunt instrument for a complex problem

The real question voters should be asking is, who do you trust?

THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM in America has grown from a patient-first approach into an intricate web of bureaucratic red tape. Every effort to address a health care problem must be deliberate, precise, and balanced. As a state representative, I have been deeply involved in health care policy since 2006 when I helped write the health(...)

Read More »

Why we support Question 1

Why we support Question 1

The facts support a vote for nurse staffing minimums

IF YOU BELIEVE in climate change, then voting yes on Question 1, which addresses patient care, patient safety, and case overload for hospital nurses, should be obvious. The issues are alike in two key ways. First, just as there’s a vast body of knowledge supporting strict limits on carbon production, there’s an overwhelming amount of(...)

Read More »

Why does Humira cost less in Europe?

Why does Humira cost less in Europe?

‘Socialized medicine’ fosters more competition than US approach

POLITICIANS FREQUENTLY TALK about doing something to address the high cost of pharmaceuticals. President Trump has made especially loud promises that he would lower drug prices “really, really substantially.” On October 15 the administration announced an “historic proposal” intended to accomplish Trump’s goal. A new rule would require manufacturers to disclose drug prices in any(...)

Read More »

Taming MassHealth drug costs

Taming MassHealth drug costs

State should explore 'value-based' purchasing

IT’S ELECTION SEASON, and the focus of politicians has again moved to “skyrocketing” drug prices. When officials with the Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth, and other senior state officials recently threatened to limit spending on pharmaceuticals,, reporters breathlessly reported that something must be done about “out of control” drug prices. One might ask, how much did(...)

Read More »