Health Care

NIH funding provides the core foundation for new drugs

NIH funding provides the core foundation for new drugs

Proposed Trump cuts would slow progress in developing new cures

HOW MANY NEW drugs come from research funded by the National Institutes of Health? That was the question posed by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, co-chair of the Senate’s bipartisan NIH caucus, at a recent Senate hearing about NIH funding. The short answer: all of them. Sen. Durbin posed his question at a hearing focused on(...)

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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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Medicaid dental coverage is failing the poor

Medicaid dental coverage is failing the poor

Spotty coverage, low reimbursement rates mean less care for patients now, bigger problems later

WE ARE LOSING a lot of really good teeth. “We” is our community of lower-income adults and children who depend on a broken Medicaid dental care system that short-changes their oral health and by extension, their long-term overall health. “We” also refers to the dental professionals whose responsibility it is to save teeth, but who(...)

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GIC health premiums will fall or stay flat

GIC health premiums will fall or stay flat

Even without plan consolidation, rates are holding steady or falling

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE ABOUT HALF THE MORE than 430,000 people covered by Group Insurance Commission plans will see a decrease in their premiums in fiscal 2019 and on average there will be no increase in premiums, GIC Executive Director Roberta Herman said Thursday. “This is kind of unheard of,” Herman told the GIC board(...)

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Group Insurance Commission reverts to status quo

Group Insurance Commission reverts to status quo

Baker cabinet member flips his vote to restore ‘peace of mind’

THE STATE’S GROUP INSURANCE COMMISSION on Thursday shelved an ambitious proposal to save an estimated $21 million by paring back the number of health insurance carriers available to its 430,000 state and municipal customers and opted instead for a status quo approach that will save just $1 million. Commission members initially backed the ambitious proposal(...)

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GIC chief takes the fall

GIC chief takes the fall

Senators focus on process, less on substance of cost-cutting plan

THE HEAD OF THE STATE’S Group Insurance Commission took the fall on Wednesday for a bungled rollout of a plan to cut health care costs for more than 400,000 state and municipal workers, but the plan itself seemed to emerge relatively unscathed from a Senate oversight hearing. Several Democratic senators angrily denounced the way the(...)

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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 was the Group Insurance Commission trying to do?

What was the Group Insurance Commission trying to do?

Lost amid the shouting, health care proposal has some interesting angles

THE GROUP INSURANCE COMMISSION has taken enormous heat for voting to restructure its network of health plans, but almost no one, including the commission itself, has explained the reasoning behind the decision to reduce the number of carriers from 17 to six. As a result, the debate has focused more on process than on substance.(...)

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Electronic opioid scripts save lives

Electronic opioid scripts save lives

Passing Baker's bill is key to stemming the overdose crisis

A HEARING EARLIER this month on Beacon Hill underscored the critical need for Massachusetts-specific solutions to the nation’s opioid crisis. As the Legislature prepares next steps to address this critical issue, it would do well to consider a bill recently proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker that would capitalize on technological advances to help address the(...)

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