A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Children's Health

Happy 50th Birthday Medicaid! Celebrate with a Massachusetts Medicaid Timeline

Happy Birthday, Medicaid and Medicare! Today is the 50th anniversary of the signing of Social Security Act of 1965 which created both programs. Massachusetts has had a particularly important role in influencing the evolution of Medicaid at the federal level and among the states. In honor of the day, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation created a spectacular interactive timeline to showcase major milestones in Medicaid history in Massachusetts .  Notably, many of the expansions and innovations of the past 30 years are the result of the advocacy legacy of HCFA.    Read more »

Breaking: Senate Passes Children’s Health Bill - Contact Your State Rep

Auust 1 UPDATE: The House did not take up the CMSP bill on the last day of the formal session, July 31. However, the legislature continues to meet in "informal" session through the end of the year, approving legislation by unanimous consent. Given the bi-partisan support for this bill, we are hopeful that it can be taken up soon during an informal meeting. Contacting legislators is still helpful.   The Massachusetts State Senate voted today to pass a key HCFA bill to improve children's health coverage. The bill has until midnight Thursday to pass the House, before formal legislative sessions... Read more »

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS): MA Taskforce Report Offers Path to Advancing Parent and Infant Health

This blog was originally published on Community Catalyst’s blog Health Policy Hub Read more »

MassHealth is Critical, and a Bargain for the state

We hear over and over again criticism that MassHealth comprises 40% of the state budget. This ignores two key realities: 1. MassHealth provides critical health care to over a quarter of state’s population – very low income people with no other source of health care. The majority of expenses are to provide care to very sick people, particularly seniors and people with disabilities getting long-term care and support services. Seniors and people with disabilities account for 24% of the enrollees, but 56% of the spending. The 595,000 non-disabled children are just 16% of the spending (source). Read more »

HCFA’s 2017-2018 Priority Legislation

With the launch of a new legislative session, we at HCFA are excited to announce a new legislative agenda that advocates for a more effective and consumer friendly health care system here in the Bay State. HCFA worked with a diverse group of legislators in both the House and Senate to file a broad package of legislation. You can see a 2-page brief summary of each of our priority bills here.  The proposed legislation includes the following proposals: Reduce Out-Of-Pocket Health Care Costs by eliminating cost-sharing for high-value services and drugs such as insulin, asthma inhalers, and... Read more »

MassHealth Drops Plan to Cut Benefits

Most MassHealth members have the option of either enrolling in a health plan (a Managed Care Organization or MCO) or the Primary Care Clinician Plan (PCCP). In efforts to move more members to managed care, MassHealth proposed in its 1115 waiver proposal to cut chiropractic services, eyeglasses, hearing aids, orthotics and potentially other benefits in the PCC Plan, while maintaining these benefits for members enrolled in MCOs. Read more »

HCFA Coalitions Submit Comments to Feds on MassHealth Redesign

MassHealth has pending before CMS - the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - its proposal for a major redesign of its care delivery system. MassHealth is the state's Medicaid program, and covers nearly 1.9 million Bay Staters.  The proposal (read the submission and supporting materials here) calls for creating Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) as a new choice for MassHealth members. An ACO is made up of primary care providers who team up to provide integrated, coordinated care, with the goal of both treating patients when they are sick, and keeping members healthy. They... Read more »

Report - CHIP Critical To Kids' Health in Massachusetts (and the state budget)

Coverage for 130,000 children and pregnant women. A $166 million hole in the state budget. Those are the stakes for Massachusetts in the upcoming Congressional vote to extend federal funding for the CHIP program. Read more »

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