A Healthy Blog

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

Wow! - lots of us support including prevention in payment reform

Wow! - lots of us support including prevention in payment reform

September 12, 2011

Mass Public Health Association calls for prevention in payment reform

The Mass Public Health Association released a letter today calling for dedicated funding for community prevention to be part of payment reform (letter, and press release, both pdf). The letter will be delivered today to legislative leaders. It was covered this morning on WBUR, and should get other coverage later.

The signatory list is very impressive. Among the nearly 300 signatures are -

  • Mayors and town managers, including Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang, Peabody Mayor Michael Bonfanti, Revere Mayor Thomas Ambrosino, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Weymouth Mayor Susan Kay, Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin, Worcester Mayor Joseph O’Brien, and Winthrop Town Manager James McKenna.
  • Local public health officials, including MA Health Officers Association, MA Association of Health Boards, and public health department directors from Boston, Lynn, Fall River, New Bedford, Melrose, Newton, Norwood, Springfield, and Westford.
  • Philanthropic, business, and labor leaders, including Celia Wcislo, The Boston Foundation, The Health Foundation of Central MA, Larson Ventures Inc. President John Larson, William Gallagher Associates CEO Philip Edmundson, and Greater Boston Hotel Employees/Local 26 Trust Funds.
  • Healthcare leaders, including Nancy Turnbull, the MA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, MA League of Community Health Centers, MA Medical Society, and MA School Nurse Organization.
  • Statewide and local organizations, including the American Cancer Society-New England Division, Berkshire Area Health Education Center, Cape Care Coalition, Codman Square Neighborhood Council, Disability Policy Consortium, Groundwork Lawrence, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, Livable Streets Alliance, Lynn Health Task Force, MA Association of Community Development Corporations, Mass Bike, Walk Boston, Massachusetts PTA, Partners for a Healthier Community/Live Well Springfield, Catholic Charities of Worcester, Project Bread – The Walk for Hunger, Voices for a Healthy Southcoast, and the MA Board of Rabbis.

As impressive as the list is the argument for including dedicated funding for community-based prevention. If we are to get at the root of our growing health health care costs, we must prevent disease from occurring in the first place. As researchers have found that much of our disease burden in preventable, it is critical that we take steps to prevent people from getting ill.

Representative Lewis and Senator Chandler have filed H. 1498 (fact sheet, pdf), which was approved by the Public Health Committee, and should be incorporated into the payment reform legislation.
-Brian Rosman