Health Care

Business groups raise concerns about health bills

Business groups raise concerns about health bills

Say assessments will hike costs, not address underlying problems

MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS LEADERS on Thursday raised concerns about legislative efforts to provide financial support to struggling community hospitals, saying the measures will drive up costs and could destabilize the state’s health care industry. A letter from seven groups, including Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, indicated businesses were growing tired of(...)

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The real driver of health care spending

The real driver of health care spending

An inefficiency gap is boosting costs — and profits

THE HEALTH CARE DEBATES that occurred in Washington over the past year were largely irrelevant to what’s happening in the health care marketplace. Republicans couldn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act but they made some changes that weakened it. Those changes will increase insurance premiums in the individual market but they do nothing to address the(...)

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A letter to Larry Bacow

A letter to Larry Bacow

Three suggestions as you take over as Harvard president

DEAR LARRY, As you begin your tenure as president of Harvard University next week, I wish you the very best. We appreciated all you did when you were the president of Tufts University; you really helped to make Tufts a better place. Having read your May interview with outgoing President Drew Faust in the Harvard Gazette, I appreciate that(...)

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Feds reject Baker bid to rein in pharmacy costs

Feds reject Baker bid to rein in pharmacy costs

State sought to restrict access to some MassHealth drugs

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT on Wednesday rejected a bid by the Baker administration to rein in pharmacy spending by restricting which drugs would be covered under its MassHealth program. “While it is disappointing that our request to more effectively control rising pharmacy costs was not approved at this time, we remain committed to finding more innovative(...)

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House bill plays Robin Hood on health care

House bill plays Robin Hood on health care

Introduces concept of ‘unwarranted factors’ of price variation

THE HOUSE HEALTH CARE BILL breathes new life into an approach taken in the 2012 cost containment bill—using some Robin Hood-like assessments as a means to improve the financial plight facing some of our have-not health care providers. Essentially, the House bill attempts to raise some $450 million in assessments over three years to finance(...)

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Trump finally pulls plug on Obamacare

President Trump is giving people more reasons to stay or move to Massachusetts. Late Thursday, the Justice Department announced it will no longer defend the provisions of the Affordable Care Act in a suit by 20 GOP-controlled states challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate. It’s a decision that will likely end the most important legacy of(...)

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Business groups seek to pare back ER visits

Business groups seek to pare back ER visits

Through diversions, organizations aim for $100m in savings

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE WITH THEIR SIGHTS SET on about $100 million in savings, 20 business organizations on Wednesday formally announced the creation of a coalition that aims to reduce the number of avoidable emergency room visits by 20 percent over two years. The Massachusetts Employer-Led Coalition to Reduce Health Care Costs plans to work(...)

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With junk insurance, you get what you pay for

With junk insurance, you get what you pay for

How the Trump administration is undermining women’s health and what to do

INSPIRED BY MARCHES, movements (#MeToo, #TimesUp), and momentum (the unprecedented surge of females running for office), women are standing up for the issues that matter most to them. Let’s make sure that healthcare continues to be on that list. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), American women have made dramatic gains. The number of uninsured(...)

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Health Policy Commission should do more

Health Policy Commission should do more

Agency should listen more and weigh ballot question evidence

THE 2012 LAW CREATING the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) includes a provision setting up an advisory council to the executive director of the commission.  The charge to the advisory council is to “advise on the overall operation and policy of the commission.”  There are about 30 or so people drawn from various health care(...)

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The Codcast: A devilish health care merger

Two of the state’s leading health care analysts say they aren’t sure whether creating a powerful alternative to Partners HealthCare will reduce health care costs in Massachusetts or increase them. “It’s the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know,” said John E. McDonough, a professor of public health practice at the TH Chan(...)

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