Health Care

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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Silver linings and seeds in tax cut law – Part II

Silver linings and seeds in tax cut law – Part II

The give and take of policymaking in polarized times

This is the second part of John McDonough’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” Read the first installment here. THE AMERICAN AUTHOR Napoleon Hill wrote: “Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” I see this happen in health policy, and specifically, I see it in how the Republican tax cut law signed by President Trump(...)

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Treating addiction as a chronic illness

Treating addiction as a chronic illness

Michael Botticelli’s personal experience informs his approach at BMC’s Grayken Center

You’ve shaped drug policy at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, at the White House, and now as executive director of the Grayken Center at Boston Medical Center. But it seems like the most important item on your resume is the fact that you’re in recovery from substance abuse yourself. That’s not an uncommon trajectory.(...)

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Time to repeal medical device tax once and for all

Time to repeal medical device tax once and for all

Suspension is about to end, making R&D decisions difficult

THERE’S A LOT OF TALK in Washington about health care, its future, and what our health ecosystem could look like in the next 5, 10, and even 50 years. These are important policy questions, with nationwide implications if lawmakers get it wrong. Here in Massachusetts, we know a thing or two about health care, health technology, and how(...)

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What’s likely to happen with the Partners-Eye and Ear deal

What’s likely to happen with the Partners-Eye and Ear deal

A no is in order, but a conditional approval may be likely

PARTNERS HEALTHCARE NEEDS a good dose of Vitamin N (a clear No) from either or both the Department of Public Health or the Attorney General with respect to its wanting to acquire Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary on terms that it has proposed. The Health Policy Commission completed its initial review of the proposed merger(...)

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Notes from the ACA front lines

Notes from the ACA front lines

Helping families during open enrollment shows huge value of law

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT is still the law of the land after a series of failed attacks in Congress. Still, in many states, the time frame for enrolling in the ACA’s subsidized insurance plans was cut in half, to a short six-week period ending December 15 (in Massachusetts, residents have until January 23). Federal funds(...)

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Tax cut’s silver linings playbook

Tax cut’s silver linings playbook

Hidden opportunities for progressives in GOP tax bill - Part I

A CORE TENET of behavioral economics is that most of us are biased toward optimism. I plead guilty. Today’s Exhibit A of my optimism bias is the Republican federal tax cut legislation heading toward the desk of President Trump for his signature. It is true that the tax cut legislation is rigged to disproportionately benefit(...)

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