A Healthy Blog

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


Serious Reportable Events Report to be Released Wed.

The Department of Public Health will release the latest public report on Serious Reportable Events (SREs) this Wednesday during the monthly meeting of the Public Health Council. The meeting takes place 9am-12:00 at DPH, 250 Washington Street, Boston, in the Public Health Council meeting room. The meeting agenda is here. HCFA and the Consumer Health Quality Council advocated for the law requiring public reporting of SREs. SREs are very serious events that happen in hospitals or ambulatory surgery centers that cause serious harm or death. Some examples are wrong-site surgery, wrong-person... Read more »

CMS Honors HCFA Staffer and Massachusetts Children's Outreach

This week the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized HCFA's Children's Health Policy and Outreach Manager, Dayanne Leal, for her outstanding efforts to identify and enroll eligible children in MassHealth and other children's health program. Dayanne was one of 10 honored by CMS for their efforts on behalf of enrollment. CMS's award citation noted the collaborative efforts of many organizations in Massachusetts who work together to find and enroll children in health coverage: Read more »

Why We Need Payment Reform, Reason # 17,847 (cardiac care edition)

This lede from the NY Times says it all: Doctors who earn money for cardiac stress testing are much more likely to prescribe the tests than those who don’t, a new study has found. Read more »

Who Fact Checks The Fact Checker? (UPDATED to Reflect Changes in the Original Column)

[Update: The Post revised their column in response to our request, after a conversation I had with the author. They removed some of the most egregious errors, but the column still reflects a hazy understanding of the goals and results of health reform here. Much of the blame lies with the Romney campaign, which defended Romney's statement with some confusing points. We'd encourage everyone to read the cogent comment to this post by Katherine, who clarifies the issues substantially. I've noted below in italics what was changed in the rewrite -Brian Rosman] Read more »

Taking the Public’s Pulse on Health Care Affordability

Today The Blue Cross Foundation hosted a breakfast where the results of a poll entitled “Public Perceptions of Health Care Costs in Massachusetts” were presented to a packed room of interested health policy people by Robert Blendon of the Harvard School of Public Health. After the presentation Nancy Turnbull moderated a lively panel Martha Bebinger of WBUR, Susan Connolly from Mercer, John Marttila of Marttila Strategies, and our own Amy Whitcomb Slemmer. Not shockingly one of the most agreed upon poll questions was, “How important is it for the state government of Massachusetts to take some... Read more »

DentaQuest Puts Money Where Our Mouths Are

Ya know when you’re doing the Hokey Pokey and ya get to the end when you put your whole body in? You don’t just leave your lips, teeth, tongue and gums outside the Hokey Pokey circle, do you? No. Because they’re as much a part of your whole body as your right elbow, foot or hand. (And, frankly, just as fun to shake all about). If you’ve followed HCFA for a while now, you know that we don’t mess with oral health disparities (though we’re not above comparing them to catchy children’s songs) and that we strongly believe that oral health is overall health. Read more »

Update: Federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) for Mass. Residents

In a recent blog post we suggested that the Federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) was a health insurance option for Mass. residents currently locked out of the private health insurance market. We have received additional information from our partners at CMS that we’d like to share with our readers. Please forward this information far and wide and contact our HelpLine, 1-800-272-4232, with questions or concerns. Read more »

Breathing is Health

The air we breathe could not be more fundamental to our health. HCFA is part of the Massachusetts Healthy Air Campaign which is holding a press conference on Tuesday, Sept 27, at 11 am at the Codman Square Community Health Center in Dorchester. The Clean Air Act, which protects the air that we breathe, is under assault at the federal level with some members of Congress aggressively attempting to weaken it. The Massachusetts Healthy Air Campaign – a coalition of over 20 health organizations, led by the American Lung Association in Massachusetts - was created to defend the Clean Air Act. HCFA... Read more »

HCFA Has Left The Building

This Tuesday, September 13, 2011, Health Care For All will take to the streets! Every member of the Health Care For All staff will be out of the office today for a day of team building and strategic planning. We will begin with a vigorous citywide scavenger hunt before taking an aerial tour of the city at the Prudential Center and finally settling down at the John Hancock Conference Center where we will focus on the details for our strategic plan that will guide us through the next era of Health Care For All’s history. We know that this rapidly changing marketplace, and current escalating... Read more »


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