Health Care

5 takeaways from Baker’s health reform

5 takeaways from Baker’s health reform

Authorizes new class of practitioners called dental therapists

PHASE 2 OF THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION’S ambitious health reform agenda emerged this past week.  It contains good and smart proposals – and worrisome ones needing attention. Phase 1 is an ambitious effort to transform much of the state’s Medicaid program, known as MassHealth, into “accountable care organizations.” ACOs aim to focus hospitals, physicians, and other(...)

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How a health care bill becomes a law

While all eyes yesterday were on the Senate hearing where Attorney General Jeff Sessions was testifying, some actual legislating is taking place in Washington — or so we are led to believe. The once-moribund Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill, which the House resuscitated last month, passed, and sent along to the Senate, may be moving toward a(...)

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House guts voter-approved pot law

House guts voter-approved pot law

Measure overhauls key pieces from tax rate to oversight

THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE will unveil a measure Wednesday that completely overhauls the voter-approved referendum legalizing recreational marijuana while also moving oversight of medical marijuana under the same regulatory umbrella. About the only thing the 48-page bill, a copy of which was obtained by CommonWealth,  leaves in place from the question put before voters last November(...)

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What your pharmacist can’t tell you

What your pharmacist can’t tell you

Drugs often cheaper without using insurance

I’VE BEEN AN INDEPENDENT PHARMACIST for 37 years and during that time I have gotten to know many patients. In some cases, I know quite a bit about their families, their medical histories, and much more.  Often, they come to me for advice on their medications and how to reduce costs and I’m happy to(...)

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Warren: GOP trying to ram through health care bill

Warren: GOP trying to ram through health care bill

‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ she says

Sen. Warren sent the following message to her supporters on Friday. I LEARNED SOME SCARY NEWS yesterday: the Senate Republicans are going to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act by the end of the month. And here’s the terrifying part: They seem to think they have the votes in the Senate to do it.(...)

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Clawbacks threaten mental health services

Clawbacks threaten mental health services

Measure would put limit on insurance companies' reach

IMAGINE BEING WORRIED sick, struggling to find a mental health clinician to treat your 12-year-old child who is so anxious that he has not been able to go to school for two weeks.  You’ve called dozens of private mental health clinicians and treatment centers, day after day, only to hear that they are full and(...)

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Steward, physician group swap fraud charges

Steward, physician group swap fraud charges

For-profit hospital chain launches attack after being sued for nonpayment

ONE OF STEWARD HEALTH CARE SYSTEM’S largest physician groups has filed a fraud and breach of contract suit for as much as $60 million against the for-profit hospital chain, triggering a threatened countersuit and allegations of doctors wrongfully retaining receipts. Compass Medical Group of East Bridgewater, which has been part of the Steward circle since(...)

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Baker’s claim of soaring Medicaid rolls is faulty

Baker’s claim of soaring Medicaid rolls is faulty

Assumption underlying employer assessment may be wrong

WITH MUCH FANFARE last January, the Baker administration sounded the alarm that the Medicaid rolls were soaring because individuals were dropping their employer coverage and choosing instead to enroll in the more generous MassHealth program. To help address the budget problem, the administration proposed a broad tax on employers, mistakenly likening the proposal to the(...)

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In some cases, let the machines take over

In some cases, let the machines take over

A doctor’s prescription for integrating digital tools into healthcare

IN MY FIELD, the lost art of listening is vital to greater learning and understanding. As a doctor, I’ve spent more than two decades listening closely to better understand when technology can be used most successfully to advance patient care. I recently heard from a physician who emphatically asserted that new technologies hinder the doctor-patient(...)

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