Health Care

How a health care bill becomes a law

While all eyes yesterday were on the Senate hearing where Attorney General Jeff Sessions was testifying, some actual legislating is taking place in Washington — or so we are led to believe. The once-moribund Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill, which the House resuscitated last month, passed, and sent along to the Senate, may be moving toward a(...)

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Warren: GOP trying to ram through health care bill

Warren: GOP trying to ram through health care bill

‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ she says

Sen. Warren sent the following message to her supporters on Friday. I LEARNED SOME SCARY NEWS yesterday: the Senate Republicans are going to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act by the end of the month. And here’s the terrifying part: They seem to think they have the votes in the Senate to do it.(...)

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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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The elephant in the lab

An op-ed in today’s Globe by two leaders of the region’s biomedical community is as interesting for what it doesn’t say as what it does. The presidents of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Partners HealthCare lay out a strong case for the huge value of the state’s “biomedical ecosystem” in driving enormous advances in the treatment of(...)

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Clawbacks threaten mental health services

Clawbacks threaten mental health services

Measure would put limit on insurance companies' reach

IMAGINE BEING WORRIED sick, struggling to find a mental health clinician to treat your 12-year-old child who is so anxious that he has not been able to go to school for two weeks.  You’ve called dozens of private mental health clinicians and treatment centers, day after day, only to hear that they are full and(...)

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Steward, physician group swap fraud charges

Steward, physician group swap fraud charges

For-profit hospital chain launches attack after being sued for nonpayment

ONE OF STEWARD HEALTH CARE SYSTEM’S largest physician groups has filed a fraud and breach of contract suit for as much as $60 million against the for-profit hospital chain, triggering a threatened countersuit and allegations of doctors wrongfully retaining receipts. Compass Medical Group of East Bridgewater, which has been part of the Steward circle since(...)

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Baker’s claim of soaring Medicaid rolls is faulty

Baker’s claim of soaring Medicaid rolls is faulty

Assumption underlying employer assessment may be wrong

WITH MUCH FANFARE last January, the Baker administration sounded the alarm that the Medicaid rolls were soaring because individuals were dropping their employer coverage and choosing instead to enroll in the more generous MassHealth program. To help address the budget problem, the administration proposed a broad tax on employers, mistakenly likening the proposal to the(...)

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In some cases, let the machines take over

In some cases, let the machines take over

A doctor’s prescription for integrating digital tools into healthcare

IN MY FIELD, the lost art of listening is vital to greater learning and understanding. As a doctor, I’ve spent more than two decades listening closely to better understand when technology can be used most successfully to advance patient care. I recently heard from a physician who emphatically asserted that new technologies hinder the doctor-patient(...)

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Amgen offering money-back guarantee

Amgen offering money-back guarantee

Harvard Pilgrim pays for high-cost cholesterol drug’s performance

Amgen, a California-based biopharmaceutical company, is offering a money-back guarantee to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and any of its members who use the company’s expensive cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha and fail to obtain the desired results. According to Harvard Pilgrim, Amgen will offer a full refund on the price of the drug and any copayments if(...)

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