A Healthy Blog

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

HCFA

Attention Policy Makers: Read This! Better Care For Less!

The best way to sell policy is by stories and examples. Everyone, even us so-called wonks, can understand a policy problem and a policy solution through a real-life example. Read more »

Comings, Goings, and Promotions in the Patrick Administration

The end of summer has brought some notable staffing changes in MassHealth, Executive Office of Administration and Finance, and the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Congratulations to Robin Callahan, who has been named as the new deputy Medicaid director for policy and programs. With more than 16 years of experience working at MassHealth, Robin gracefully works on implementation of various federal grants and waivers, and will now play a significant role in the implementation of national health reform. We at Health Care For All value Robin’s spirit of collaboration and transparency... Read more »

Editorial: "The Bay State led the nation in addressing access to health insurance; now we should lead in taming health care inflation."

An editorial in the Taunton Gazette, and other GateHouse papers (like the Milford Daily News, Wrentham Country Gazette) lays out the urgent need to move on comprehensive payment reform: Read more »

Sleep-Deprived Residents May Catch Some Z’s, but Will Medical Errors Decrease?

About 98,000 people die every year from medical errors. A recent article in the New York Times describes the recently improved work schedules of medical residents, and how shorter working hours, in combination with other crucial changes in our health care delivery system, can help to reduce medical errors. In 2003, a policy change required that medical residents work no more than 80 hours per week, cannot provide direct patient care after 24 hours of continued duty, and must get at least one day off per week. Read more »

MA Health Reform: THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

[Today, Massachusetts Citizens for Life kicked off a ballot campaign aimed at repealing our state’s landmark health reform law. Here are a few reasons why we feel this campaign won’t get off the ground.] 1.In five years, Massachusetts has insured over 98 percent of all residents – that’s 400,000 more people who previously did not have access to health services and roughly 336,000 more individuals than needed to put a question on the ballot. 2.People like it – 67 percent support the law according to the latest state survey. 3.More than 90 percent of all individuals have access to a primary... Read more »

Dispatch from our Community Organizers: What's next?

Summer is setting in. Beaches are crowded on Saturdays. Ice cream lines are long. And Friday afternoon traffic out of the city is unbearable. But that isn’t slowing down our health care activists who are now, more than ever, pounding the pavement to get out the word about the Campaign for Better Care. With payment reform hearings wrapped up—thank you to all who testified—activists are going back to the drawing board, educating health care consumers about what a health care system could look like for better, more affordable care, and what doctors, hospitals, legislators, and activists are... Read more »

Connector Board Looks Back, Jumps Forward

Today’s Health Connector Board meeting focused on Health Connector accomplishments so far in FY 11, and Affordable Care Act Implementation progress in Massachusetts (materials). The Board Chair, Jay Gonzalez, began by updating the board that the Governor signed the FY 12 budget on Monday, and he thinks it will positively change the way government does business. Included in the budget is sufficient funding to sustain subsidies for small businesses and to pay for the Commonwealth Bridge program for the year, pending a decision in the Finch case, which seeks re-integration of legal immigrants... Read more »

Consumers On-Board for Premium Freeze

As children, we may have been given a ‘time-out’ when our behavior spiraled out of control. Time-outs allowed us to stop our erratic behavior, and have a moment to regroup and learn from our mistakes. On June 30th, Health Care For All and the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization requested a similar action from the health industry, as premium increases have reached double digits, making it difficult for small businesses and families to keep up. You may have heard about this rally on Channel 22 in the Boston Globe, or on WBUR. If you weren’t able to attend, here is a video of our rally with... Read more »

Victory for Consumers - Budget Preserves Restrictions on Pharma Marketing

The House-Senate Conference Committee just filed the budget for FY 2012, which starts at midnight tonight (download the 314 page pdf, if you must). Read more »

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