Health Care

Strengthen, don’t scrap, the ACA

Strengthen, don’t scrap, the ACA

Fixing, improving, and expanding the law is best approach

MASSACHUSETTS IS A LEADER in health care and caring for our most vulnerable citizens. But even as we drive groundbreaking research and unprecedented care, nonstop efforts to undermine our health care system threaten every one of us and heighten our anxieties. Our health care system served as the foundation for the Affordable Care Act. Since(...)

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HPC urged to weigh in on nurse ballot question

HPC urged to weigh in on nurse ballot question

Health plans: Commission should estimate cost of staffing initiative

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE CITING COMPETING CLAIMS from both sides of a nurse staffing ballot question, health insurers on Wednesday asked a state agency to produce in the next month an independent analysis of the costs associated with Question 1. In a letter to Health Policy Commission executive director David Seltz, the Massachusetts Association of(...)

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Baker, Gonzalez should oppose health care duopoly

Baker, Gonzalez should oppose health care duopoly

Beth Israel-Lahey mega merger will raise, not lower, costs

“I WILL NOT be the governor who allows Massachusetts to become a health care duopoly.” That’s a bipartisan pledge that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and his Democratic challenger, Jay Gonzalez, should make regarding the future of health care in our Commonwealth. This pledge concerns the 13-hospital mega merger between Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and(...)

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Slow growth in MA health care spending

Slow growth in MA health care spending

Partners says nurse ballot question would boost its costs $140m

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE HEALTH CARE SPENDING in Massachusetts rose 1.6 percent to $61.1 billion in 2017, increasing at the slowest rate tracked since the passage of a 2012 health care cost control law. The Center for Health Information and Analysis, in its annual report on the performance of the state’s health care system, logged a $1.3(...)

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We need CBO-like scoring of state health care bills

We need CBO-like scoring of state health care bills

Beacon Hill should tap expertise of Health Policy Commission

WHEN I WAS A MEMBER of the Massachusetts House of Representatives back in the 1990s, I learned about the concept of continuous quality improvement, or CQI, as a way to improve any process – including medical care – using a rigorous data driven approach. CQI seemed good to me and a natural fit in my(...)

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A missed healthcare opportunity

A missed healthcare opportunity

Legislature's failure to pass reform endangers survival of smaller hospitals and facilities

MASSACHUSETTS MISSED AN opportunity to address some of the most crucial healthcare challenges facing the state when the Legislature failed to reach agreement on a sweeping reform bill this session. It’s disappointing, particularly because the reforms thoughtfully formulated over the past several months are vital to many of our local communities, hospitals, workers, and patients.(...)

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5 takeaways from the Beth Israel-Lahey merger review

5 takeaways from the Beth Israel-Lahey merger review

Cost increases and lack of concern at Health Policy Commission are surprises

THE MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION’S preliminary review of the proposed BI-Lahey et al merger and the comments of the commissioners on that review surprised me a bit. Here are my five takes on those surprises: 1. The commission staff and the agency’s economic consultant, with their “willingness-to-pay” analysis, say that if the merger goes forward(...)

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Past time to get serious about health care costs

Past time to get serious about health care costs

Legislature must rein in spiraling spending

LAST SEPTEMBER, Pioneer observed that Massachusetts had dodged a federal bullet when the US Senate failed by one vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Had they succeeded, the Commonwealth stood to lose billions of federal health care dollars. The near-miss experience should have prodded the Legislature and the governor to bring rampant health care(...)

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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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Law needed to expand access to midwives

Law needed to expand access to midwives

Would make it easier to have births at home in Massachusetts

THE UNITED STATES IS EXPERIENCING a nationwide maternal health crisis with the worst maternal and infant mortality in the developed world. It is imperative that we do all we can to improve outcomes in all birth settings and remove barriers to high quality care for the prenatal, birth, and postpartum periods. The countries with the(...)

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