Health Care

We need better tools to control pharma prices

We need better tools to control pharma prices

With many drug makers facing no competition, the market isn't working

FROM THE BEGINNING of the Baker-Polito Administration, managing MassHealth has been a top priority.  We are pleased with the progress made to date, including its first major systems overhaul in 20 years, implementing strong internal controls, and reducing the growth rate from double digit numbers. However, it is evident that additional major structural reforms are(...)

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Yes on 3 is a healthy choice

Yes on 3 is a healthy choice

Referendum on transgender rights affects more than bathroom access

ALL OF US know that accessing basic health care and emergency medical care treatment is essential to taking care of ourselves and our families. This November, voters will have a unique opportunity to uphold a Massachusetts state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations, which includes hospitals and doctors’ offices. Voting Yes(...)

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Researchers at odds on agency’s nurse staffing report

Researchers at odds on agency’s nurse staffing report

Those cited in HPC document disagree with some of the findings

THE HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION’S REPORT early last month on the potential effects of Question 1 was portrayed as an independent, objective analysis, but many of the researchers whose work was cited in the report disagree with at least some of the findings. The commission, an independent watchdog agency set up to monitor and find ways(...)

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Q1: A blunt instrument for a complex problem

Q1: A blunt instrument for a complex problem

The real question voters should be asking is, who do you trust?

THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM in America has grown from a patient-first approach into an intricate web of bureaucratic red tape. Every effort to address a health care problem must be deliberate, precise, and balanced. As a state representative, I have been deeply involved in health care policy since 2006 when I helped write the health(...)

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Why does Humira cost less in Europe?

Why does Humira cost less in Europe?

‘Socialized medicine’ fosters more competition than US approach

POLITICIANS FREQUENTLY TALK about doing something to address the high cost of pharmaceuticals. President Trump has made especially loud promises that he would lower drug prices “really, really substantially.” On October 15 the administration announced an “historic proposal” intended to accomplish Trump’s goal. A new rule would require manufacturers to disclose drug prices in any(...)

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Why we’re voting no on Question 1

Why we’re voting no on Question 1

Evidence raises concerns on nurse-to-patient staffing ratios

SHOULD MASSACHUSETTS establish mandated nurse-to-patient ratios in law for all the state’s acute care hospitals? This 25-year-old conflict between the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Massachusetts Hospital Association will be determined at the polls on November 6 as Question 1. We think not. We are university professors who care about Massachusetts health care policy. We both(...)

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Drug costs at pharmacies lack transparency

Drug costs at pharmacies lack transparency

Statute needed to require patients be informed of cheaper alternatives

AS A PRACTICING PHYSICIAN, nearly every time I write a prescription, I have to ask myself: “Will this patient be able to afford this at the beginning of the calendar year when they have not yet met their deductible? Will they be able to afford this medicine in the middle of the calendar year when(...)

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Here’s why more nurses don’t mean better care

Here’s why more nurses don’t mean better care

Question 1’s rigid ratios may undercut technology improvements

IS A VOTE FOR QUESTION 1, which sets mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios, a vote for safer care in hospitals? At first blush, it might appear so. How can it be otherwise that prescribing specific numbers of nurses per patient be anything other than good for patients? But such a conclusion is not only simplistic, but likely(...)

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On nurse ballot measure, Dems line up with labor

On nurse ballot measure, Dems line up with labor

Are policy points secondary to union loyalty?

THE NOVEMBER BALLOT QUESTION that would mandate minimum nurse staffing levels at Massachusetts hospitals is a complicated issue. Health care experts offered views that were sharply at odds with each other at a hearing this week of the state Health Policy Commission, with some saying the measure would unquestionably lead to better patient outcomes, while(...)

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Baker planning pharmacy pricing legislation

Baker planning pharmacy pricing legislation

Sudders calls manufacturer drug rebates ‘smoke and mirrors’

THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION is developing a legislative proposal to rein in pharmacy prices or at least shed more light on what’s fueling the rising cost. Marylou Sudders, the governor’s secretary of health and human services, said her agency is crafting legislation that would allow the state to negotiate prices directly with drug manufacturers, call them(...)

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