A Healthy Blog

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

HCFA

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... Read more »

Another Dispatch from Our Community Organizers!

Where in the state were our community organizers? Read more »

Dispatch from Our Community Organizers

Last week, our community organizers –Celia and Ari- continued to travel the state and talk with consumers about how health care reform is working for them. The highlight of the week for Celia and Ari (besides HCFA’s “For The People” Event, of course) was a meeting with members of the Lynn Health Task Force. The task force has been inactive for quite some time so HCFA is trying to reinvigorate the task force by working to address their health concerns, ranging from obesity prevention to substance abuse issues. Communities like Lynn also are beginning to grapple with what payment reform might... Read more »

Connector Board Approves: Plans for CommChoice Seal of Approval; CommCare MCO Contracts; and Revised CommCare Eligibility Regulations

On Thursday, the Connector Board met to discuss and vote on CommChoice Seal of Approval, CommCare MCO Contracts, and revised CommCare regulations.  Materials from the meeting are here. Secretary Jay Gonzalez opened the meeting with a review of the FY12 House Ways and Means budget, which was released on Wednesday.  Gonzalez pointed out that the House funds CommCare at the same level as the Governor, but eliminates CommCare Bridge, which is a priority for the Administration and the Connector. Glen Shor followed Gonzalez with a brief update on enrollment in CommCare and CommChoice.  As of April... Read more »

Statement from Health Care For All Regarding the FY 2012 House Budget Proposal

[The FY 2012 House budget proposal eliminates all funding for the Commonwealth Care Bridge program, which covers some 20,000 legal immigrants, and continues to limit dental benefits for 700,000 adults in the MassHealth program. HCFA will be working with our friends in the House to file amendments on these concerns. The budget also includes devastating cuts to public health; see the MPHA statement for more details. As always, the Mass Budget and Policy Center has the best instant analysis. In conjunction with the Mass Medicaid Policy Institute, they will have more detailed work-up of the... Read more »

**NEW** Weekly Dispatches from Our Community Organizers

Where in Massachusetts Are Our Organizers? Track Them on This Map! Health Care for All has two new community organizers – Celia Segel and Ari Fertig – who have been talking to consumers across Massachusetts about how health care reform is working for them. Each week we will be bringing you information about what Celia and Ari are hearing from consumers as they traverse the state. From Springfield to Scituate - New Bedford to Bedford, we’ll be updating you about their travels and conversations with consumers right here on our blog. Read more »

Thanks, and Welcome; DHCFP Full Steam Ahead

Some major departures in state personnel this week and last. David Morales has long been a leader in health care policy through service in the Senate, the Prescription Advantage program, the Governor's office, and as Commissioner of the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Last Friday was his last day, and we want to thank him for his outstanding service and friendship with HCFA. Under David, DHCFP dramatically expanded its data analytic role. Last spring's groundbreaking Cost Trends hearings set the stage for dramatic steps forward in transforming our health care system. Read more »

Sounding the Alarm About Alarms in Hospitals

In a recent 2-part series (Part I), (Part II) in the Boston Globe we read a number of chilling stories about patients who died in the hospital because an alarm set to warn nurses of their critical condition was accidentally missed, handled incorrectly, or failed to go off. Read more »

HCFA’S Childrens Enrollment Phone-A-Thon Honored By CMS

Today, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a report on the second anniversary of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) to highlight the progress states have made to enroll all children in health care coverage.   HCFA is honored that this year’s report recognized our “Got Coverage?” children’s enrollment phone-a-thon as a national standout. The report writes: Read more »

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