Health

Raise the tobacco sales age to 21

Raise the tobacco sales age to 21

End the patchwork policies, save lives and money

MANY PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED TO LEARN that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Massachusetts and across the country, despite the strides we have made in reducing cigarette smoking over the past few decades. Treating tobacco-caused illnesses adds up to $4 billion in annual healthcare costs in Massachusetts. This(...)

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Death of a cancer lab

Death of a cancer lab

Once-thriving publicly funded research program driven into bankruptcy by questionable characters

FEW PLACES HAVE the resources and brain power to match Boston when it comes to biomedical research, including the search for effective ways to treat and prevent cancer. Internationally renowned hospitals, combined with some of the leading universities in the world, make the region a magnet for top researchers and the funding that fuels their(...)

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Health panel finds some common ground

Health panel finds some common ground

Draft plan calls for rate floor for community hospitals

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE AFTER SIX MONTHS OF SEEKING WAYS to address the variation in prices charged by Massachusetts medical providers, officials plan to recommend a host of solutions including a rate floor for lower-paid community hospitals, regulation of rate growth, and protections against out-of-network charges, according to a draft proposal. The recommendations are made(...)

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Mass. = primary care doctor desert

Mass. = primary care doctor desert

41% of state has little to no access to physicians

MASSACHUSETTS IS ARGUABLY home to the best hospitals, doctors, and medical research institutions in the world. The best and brightest attend our medical schools and many will subsequently live and practice in the Commonwealth. Yet, when it comes to the foundation of our healthcare system, our primary care physicians, Massachusetts has an overlooked and worsening(...)

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Repealing Obamacare won’t fix health care

Repealing Obamacare won’t fix health care

Medical, insurance bureaucracy will still remain a mess

“ALL BUREAUCRACIES, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, are the same” is a motto I have lived by for years, and it applies to the health care and health insurance bureaucracies. I purchase a full price individual health insurance policy on the Massachusetts Health Connector, and previously purchased an individual policy before the implementation of Obamacare. It is(...)

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Good health goes beyond health care

Good health goes beyond health care

Social needs, like food and housing, must be addressed

WITH MORE THAN 1.8 MILLION Massachusetts residents covered by MassHealth at a cost of more than $15 billion, there is no doubt that Massachusetts is committed to ensuring that care is within reach for those who need it. The question now is how to ensure that this funding is effectively used to improve health and(...)

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Hospital pricing deliberations begin

Hospital pricing deliberations begin

Outcome uncertain as commission’s 22 members start talking

THE 22 MEMBERS OF THE SPECIAL COMMISSION set up to address unwarranted price variation among the state’s health care providers held their first meeting on Tuesday, with one of the cochairs jokingly saying it felt like an episode of Survivor. The commission was created earlier this year as part of a deal to head off(...)

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Mass. health care spending up 3.9%

Mass. health care spending up 3.9%

MassHealth and pharmaceutical costs drive increase above benchmark

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Spending on health care in Massachusetts rose to $57.2 billion in 2015, growing more slowly than in 2014 but for the second straight year outpacing the benchmark set under a 2012 cost containment law, according to a new state report. The 3.9 percent growth in total health care spending, estimated in(...)

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Pot campaign bashed for appeal

Pot campaign bashed for appeal

Critics say using drug crisis to raise funds is “deeply troubling”

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE A FUNDRAISING APPEAL from the marijuana legalization campaign has drawn the ire of health care professionals and parents of children who died from opioid addiction after the group pitched legal marijuana as an alternative to prescription pain drugs in spite of the state’s medical marijuana program. Will Luzier, the campaign manager(...)

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Baker pushes health care competition

Baker pushes health care competition

DPH commissioner helping to lead the way

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION is showing signs that it wants to get more aggressive about encouraging greater competition between health care providers. Monica Bharel, the commissioner of the Department of Public Health, is sending the strongest signals. Her agency is preparing to issue new regulations next week that will spell out how the state will handle(...)

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