health care costs

E-scripts for opioids save lives

E-scripts for opioids save lives

Technology exists for officials to pass laws to stem the crisis

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER recently signed into law a bill to mitigate the state-level effects of the ongoing opioid crisis. Like other such legislative efforts at both the federal and state levels, this important legislation requires healthcare providers and pharmacies to switch to electronic prescribing of controlled substances. This most recent legislative success reflects just how(...)

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House, Senate health care bills fall short

House, Senate health care bills fall short

Don't address price variation, could actually boost costs

THE GREATER BOSTON INTERFAITH ORGANIZATION is a community organization representing about 50 primarily religious congregations who come together to advance social justice, including issues related to access, cost, and quality of health care. The GBIO and its member congregations have been engaged in the health care social justice struggle for almost 15 years. We worked alongside(...)

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Cost barriers rise for patients

Cost barriers rise for patients

Insurance deductible policies for drugs hurt those most in need

THERE SEEMS TO be a new story each day about how patients across the country are being treated unfairly by their health insurance company. Chances are, you or someone you love has been through something like this. These are patients who have done the right thing, worked hard, paid their premiums, and expected that when(...)

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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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Puerto Ricans struggle to rebuild lives in Mass.

Puerto Ricans struggle to rebuild lives in Mass.

Evacuees face language, culture, economic barriers

ON A CRISP morning in November, Veronica Perez and Limarie Rivera, both self-evacuees from Puerto Rico, borrow a car from Rivera’s cousin and make their way to the New North Citizens’ Council in Springfield. New North is one of nearly two dozen welcome centers around the state designated as a first stop for people coming(...)

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Insurers’ ‘fail-first’ drug approach increases pain

Insurers’ ‘fail-first’ drug approach increases pain

Legislative bills would smooth patients' appeal path for prescribed medication coverage

WHEN YOU LIVE with debilitating pain it becomes a matter of degrees: How bad is it today? Can I get up and walk? Can I get through a day of work? Some days are better than others. Some days it’s simply just hard to get dressed. I’ve been living with pain for roughly 16 years(...)

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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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Health care cost transparency no panacea

It has been an article of faith among many of those concerned about soaring health care costs, including Gov. Charlie Baker: Pull back the covers on the costs of health care procedures and services and the invisible hand of consumers making smart choices will drive sense and efficiency into a dysfunctional and costly market. That(...)

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Partners at center of health care cost conundrums

On the one hand, countless studies suggest high-priced hospitals in Massachusetts offer care in most cases that is no different from what is available at a much lower cost at community hospitals. On the other hand, no one seems to believe it. The Boston Globe reported last week that Neighborhood Health Plan had signed a(...)

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