A Healthy Blog

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

HCFA

Connector Board Discusses Wellness, Operating Budgets, and Exchange Planning

This morning, the Connector Board met to discuss four agenda items: Updates on the wellness initiative for Business Express, FY 2011 Administrative Budget and Audits, Voting on FY 2012 Administrative Budget Recommendation, and a vote on an exchange planning grant contract. Materials from the meeting are here. Small Business Wellness Program Scott Devonshire and Cathy Hoffman presented an update on the Connector’s small business wellness Initiative, which is required by Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010. As of June 6th, new businesses signing up for Business Express may register for a Wellness... Read more »

Let’s See How Far We’ve Come: The Results of Our Statewide Kids Enrollment Challenge to be Announced Next Week

Last month, Health Care For All issued a challenge to 66 organizations across Massachusetts to help enroll 500 uninsured children in health coverage during the month of May.  You may have read about our Challenge in the Boston Globe or heard about it on WBUR.  On Tuesday, June 14, we will be announcing the results of our month-long challenge (hint:  it will be a celebration) at an event at the State House with Federal and State leaders.   We will also be kicking-off phase II of the challenge:  helping kids retain their health care coverage. Read more »

Like Fine Wine, Massachusetts Health Reform Law Gets Better with Age

Support for the Massachusetts universal health reform law is increasing in the Commonwealth, according to a poll conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and The Boston Globe featured in yesterday’s Globe. The poll results showed a 10% increase in support from two years ago, now reporting 63% in favor of the 2006 reform law and only 21% against the law. Another important finding was that even with recent criticisms of rising health costs in Massachusetts, which are now the highest per capita in the nation, when asked about the high costs of health care in MA, 72% of those polled believed... Read more »

MA Kids Dental Programs Move to the Head of the Class!

More than five years after filing a lawsuit against the state, HCFA and the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce (OHAT) are happy to announce today that Massachusetts’ children’s dental programs have been given an ‘A’ by the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign. Read more »

Quality and Cost Council Meets on Thursday

The Health Care Quality and Cost Council is meeting this Thursday, May 26, 1-3pm, at 1 Ashburton Place, 21st floor. See the agenda here . Topics to be covered include committee updates, introduction of new QCC members and discussion of replacing the chairs of the Quality and Patient Safety Committee and the Cost Containment Committee as well as the Treasurer, and discussions about cost trends and “systemness” measures. Meetings are open to the public. Read more »

Educational Fair TOMORROW!

Community Connect to Research will be at the ABCs of Clinical Research Educational Fair in Dorchester tomorrow (Saturday, May 21) from 10am to 2pm. Come learn about how new medications and treatments are developed, how to become more informed about your health care needs, and receive free resources and giveaways on health topics such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, and HPV. Read more »

Pharma With a Chance of Meatballs

Don't understand our state's gift ban? Check out this fun breakdown explaining why we need it and what we stand to lose if it's repealed. "Pharma with a Chance of Meatballs" tells the story of how big drug companies wined and dined docs before our state acted to eliminate this conflict of interest and how these fancy meals cost consumers by jacking up the price of Rx drugs. Check it out and share it with your friends! Read more »

GUEST BLOG: Achieving Better Care AND Better Government through Continuous MassHealth Eligibility for Families

by State Senator Jamie Eldridge In this tight budget environment, lawmakers are always looking for those magic bullets: ways we can improve services AND save money. I joined Health Care for All, state Health and Human Services Secretary Judy Bigby, and Christie Hager, US Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director of Region 1 at the State House yesterday to talk about one of those rare policy solutions: a bill I’ve filed with Representative Ellen Story to establish 12-month continuous eligibility for children and their parents under MassHealth. Read more »

House Restores Funding for CommCare Bridge

Last night, the House voted in favor of the consolidated Health & Human Services amendment, which included $25 million for Commonwealth Care Bridge, the health coverage program for legal immigrants who were denied Commonwealth Care coverage beginning in the summer of 2009. This funding will allow the program to continue for the first six months of Fiscal Year 2012, with the possibility of additional funding to fund Bridge through the second half of the fiscal year. Thank you to Representatives Cabral and Toomey for their leadership on this issue, and to Representatives Balser, Basile,... Read more »

Community Connect to Research: Linking You to the World of Health Information and Research

In order to make informed health care decisions patients and consumers need access to reliable information. While many consumers turn to the internet for answers to their health questions, it can be difficult to know which websites to trust. Connect to Research is free online resource for consumers to obtain accurate, thorough and up-to-date health information from trustworthy local health experts. Massachusetts residents are fortunate to live in the hub of world-class health institutions. Patients from all over the world travel here to receive care, at the same time groundbreaking medical... Read more »

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