A Healthy Blog

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

Thursday: Lots Going On

Thursday: Lots Going On

April 8, 2010

Lots of activity on the health policy front Thursday morning.

The Health Connector is holding its board meeting, at 9:00 am at 1 Ashburton Place, 21st floor. The agenda includes a vote on the Commonwealth Care plans for next year, and an update on Commonwealth Care.

We expect some discussion of the standoff between the state and health plans that has led to some plans closing off sale of their coverage to individuals and small groups, including through the Connector's Commonwealth Choice site. The regulatory dispute over DOI's rejection of premium price increases will come before a Suffolk Superior Court judge Thursday morning.

(UPDATE: The Globe now reports that Blue Cross Blue Shield and Tufts are resuming sales at the 2009 rates. The Harvard Pilgrim spokeswoman, however, says the company doesn’t consider the DOI's order to offer plans by Friday “legally enforceable.’’

Good perspectives and context are provided by a WBUR interview with Stuart Altman, and today's Globe editorial, which supports our shared responsibility approach to the short-term cost control, but neglects to add that only comprehensive payment reform can make long term progress in controlling costs and improving care.)

Today, NECN did a good report that summarizes the issues and arguments over the closing of plan sales: