A Healthy Blog

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


Supporting our Heroes

As our news is filled with more details about the Navy Yard shooter, Health Care For All is convening the first coalition conversations with our newest policy effort.  We are calling our new coalition MASH (Massachusetts Alliance to Support Heroes), which is being created to strengthen the supports for all military service members and their families.  We know that there are remarkable organizations spread all over the Commonwealth that vary in size from the Home Base program with the Red Sox and MGH to brand new Mom and Pop shops that have sprung up in cities and towns to provide comfort, or... Read more »

New Feature: Ari's Healthragous Links

Today the Healthy Blog is inaugurating a new feature we're calling, Ari's Healthrageous Links.  Read more »

MassHealth Draft 1115 Waiver Public Hearing and Comment Dates Set

MassHealth reached out to Health Care For All and asked us to share the following information regarding their renewal for their 1115 Waiver request. The 1115 Waiver allows states to expand health care coverage to populations that aren't traditionally covered and get federal dollars for doing so. The draft renewal request has been posted online for a 30-day public comment period. The comment period will be open until 5pm on September 19. Read more »

Reddit answers the question: what is universal health care really like?

There’s an amazing conversation happening on Reddit (an enormous social news site / message board) right now about health care around the world. It started with one Redditor asking the question: “Redditors who live in a country with universal healthcare, what is it really like?” The responses are fascinating. Especially noteworthy is the cultural exchange where Americans simply cannot believe that in the UK, emergency room visits are free – and the Europeans simply cannot believe the American experience. Here’s just one conversation that is truly telling (we censored curse words. Please note... Read more »

Bringing the ACA to All Communities in Massachusetts - Launching ACA Outreach Campaign

We want to keep you up-to-date on all the great outreach work that HCFA has been doing. If you hadn’t already heard, we are proud to partner with The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services and 10 local community organizations to launch a major public outreach campaign targeted to individuals and families in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking communities to explain the benefits coming to Massachusetts through the Affordable Care Act. This initiative includes public events, focused ethnic media outreach, an advertising campaign, and distribution of educational materials... Read more »

Connector Board Talks Budget, Accomplishments and Goals

Last Thursday, the Connector Board reviewed the agency’s FY2013 and FY2014 administrative budgets, looked back at FY2013 accomplishments and ahead to FY2014 goals, and announced the Navigator program grant awards.  Materials from the meeting can be found here.  Before delving into details, Jean Yang started the meeting with program enrollment.  As of July 1st, 207,584 residents are enrolled in Commonwealth Care (an increase over June) and 39,575 are enrolled in Commonwealth Choice (a decrease from June).   Read more »

Who's Going To The PROM? Standard Quality Measures Discussion Advances

The Statewide Quality Advisory Committee (SQAC) met on Monday, June 17th (see the meeting materials). The Committee is working to align health care performance metrics to promote uniform collection and reporting of a Standard Quality Measure Set in order to support improvement in the health status in Massachusetts. HCFA is a member of the Committee Read more »

And now a word from our sponsor…

Our fiscal year ends on June 30th – there are just five days left to help Health Care For All this year! Health Care For All (HCFA) needs your support to fully fund our HelpLine. Will you make a donation today? HCFA’s fiscal year ends June 30, 2012 and we need your help to continue to reach and assist residents of Massachusetts. Here’s how your gift helps: Read more »

Health Policy Commission Report: June 19 Meeting

The Health Policy Commission (HPC) convened this past Wednesday, June 19 for its 6th meeting. Materials from the meeting are available here, and can you read on for our full update below. Read more »

Glimmers of Hope for More Clean Hands

Over 150 years ago, the Austrian physician Ignac Semmelweis discovered that, by washing their hands regularly, doctors could stop the spread of disease between patients. Now, a century and a half later, hand-washing is a common practice – but not nearly common enough. Studies have shown that doctors wash their hands as little as 30% of the times they interact with patients. With the rise of nasty antibiotic-resistant germs, hand-washing is more important than ever. And now that hospitals can be financially impacted if their patients are infected while in their care, they are paying more... Read more »


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