Health Care

Law needed to expand access to midwives

Law needed to expand access to midwives

Would make it easier to have births at home in Massachusetts

THE UNITED STATES IS EXPERIENCING a nationwide maternal health crisis with the worst maternal and infant mortality in the developed world. It is imperative that we do all we can to improve outcomes in all birth settings and remove barriers to high quality care for the prenatal, birth, and postpartum periods. The countries with the(...)

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Health care watchdog: BI-Lahey merger will hike costs

Health care watchdog: BI-Lahey merger will hike costs

Commission members think new system can work with conditions

A REPORT ON by the state’s health care industry watchdog analyzing the proposed merger of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Lahey Health says the marriage won’t produce the kinds of savings the hospitals project nor tamp down Partners HealthCare’s stranglehold on the market. But members of the Health Policy Commission aren’t convinced that the models(...)

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Nursing home sector on verge of collapse

Nursing home sector on verge of collapse

State needs to step up with support for industry

MY FAMILY AND I have operated five Massachusetts skilled nursing homes for more than 65 years and we are proud of our staff and the care we continue to provide frail elders and disabled individuals who can no longer live safely in the community. All individuals should have an opportunity to receive high quality nursing(...)

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Treat substance use disorder like disease it is

Treat substance use disorder like disease it is

A top priority should be increasing access to medications

MASSACHUSETTS CONTINUES TO LOOK for new answers to the opioid crisis. Despite changes to state law to require insurance coverage for inpatient substance use disorder treatment, despite the increased availability of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone (Narcan), and despite significant investments in substance use prevention programs in our communities, this disease continues to claim lives and(...)

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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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