health care costs

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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Health care pricing regulation gains backing

Slowly but surely the case is being made for some form of state intervention in health care pricing. Attorney General Maura Healey broached the idea in October during a series of hearings hosted by the state’s Health Policy Commission on health care cost trends. She noted that big disparities in prices paid to some health(...)

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Baker slashes $50M in spending

Baker slashes $50M in spending

Cuts part of $320 million budget fix

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GOV. CHARLIE BAKER on Friday slashed nearly $50 million from the state budget to partially close what his administration identified as a $320 million gap between projected spending and revenues through end of the fiscal year. The emergency budget cuts, which come almost exactly at the half-way point in the fiscal(...)

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Healey: “Stronger interventions” may be needed

Healey: “Stronger interventions” may be needed

Attorney general says health care cost containment efforts falling short

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY says big disparities in prices paid to health care providers continue to hamper efforts to control health care costs, a situation that might call for more muscular efforts on the part of regulators. Healey made the comments as part of the keynote address at Tuesday’s second day of hearings on cost(...)

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