A Healthy Blog

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

HCFA

Take Action Today for a Strong Prevention Trust

HCFA and its Campaign for Better Care have been working with the Mass. Public Health Association to advocate for the creation of a Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund. This trust would offer funding for evidence based community programs that focus on prevention and wellness. We believe this is an investment that will increase overall health in the Commonwealth but additionally if invested fully will be an actual cost saver to the overall health system.  Both the Senate and House have passed legislation that would make Massachusetts the first state in the nation with a Prevention and Wellness... Read more »

Speak up for oral health: Call your Representative and Senator today!

The Senate passed a budget amendment filed by Senator Chandler that would provide $7.2 million in additional funding to restore coverage for composite (tooth colored) fillings for front teeth for both MassHealth and Commonwealth Care Plan Type 1 recipients. In addition, Amendment #605 would require the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) to study the increased cost of emergency room treatment for dental problems, that occurs when people have no other source of care, and to develop a specific code to track ER visits for dental conditions. Read more »

Moving from Fee-for-Service to Coordinated Care: How to cut costs without cost shifting or shrinking networks

Guest Blogger, Anne DiNoto, HCFA Activist and Arlington Resident  There’s a healthcare revolution happening in Massachusetts currently being debated in the House about the best way to provide quality care and save money.  But how will this impact you and me and our families?  The hope is to integrate all care to a coordinated care model. In February, my Uncle Bob was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).  AML is a cancer of the bone marrow and the blood that progresses quickly without treatment.  I visited my uncle at a fee-for-service hospital in Philadelphia last weekend with my... Read more »

House Begins Payment Reform Debate - Amendments to Support

The House’s health care reform bill represents a unique opportunity to improve care and lower health costs. By keeping the needs of patients and consumers uppermost, we can lead the nation in better, more affordable health  Health Care for All and its Campaign for Better Care ask you to support these amendments that support effective, comprehensive patient centered payment and delivery reform. Please support the following amendments (click for our nice 1-pager): Read more »

HCFA Reacts to Senate Payment Reform Bill

Yesterday afternoon the Senate released its payment reform proposal. Like the House bill, the Senate bill (full text) advances the discussion on how to make systemic changes to our health care delivery system. We're busy tearing through the 5080 lines of legislative text, and will be working with Senators on a number of amendments. Debate will be next Tuesday, May 15. But our first reactions are here: Statement from Health Care For All's Executive Director Amy Whitcomb Slemmer regarding the Senate bill S. 2260, an Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs Through Increased... Read more »

What Makes Better Care? The Series. Part 4: Patient Activation and Empowerment

As the House and Senate get close to releasing their versions of comprehensive payment and delivery reform legislation, the Campaign For Better Care, with the help of students from the Harvard School of Public Health, will be doing a series of blog posts this week highlighting our 10 Principles for Better Care. Read more »

What Makes Better Care? The Series. Part 3: Consumer Voice

As the House and Senate get close to releasing their versions of comprehensive payment and delivery reform legislation, the Campaign For Better Care, with the help of students from the Harvard School of Public Health, will be doing a series of blog posts this week highlighting our 10 Principles for Better Care. Read more »

Washington Post Visits HCFA: "Meet Kate Bicego, the woman who knows how to implement Obamacare"

Yesterday, Sarah Kliff from the Washington Post's Wonkblog visited HCFA and Community Catalyst, and here's her fabulous report: Meet Kate Bicego, the woman who knows how to implement Obamacare. Kate is HCFA's Helpline Manager, and, as Kliff reported, she and the other Helpline staffers are the crucial link in turning the promise of coverage into reality: If anyone can claim to know how best to implement Obamacare, it might be Kate Bicego. Bicego isn’t affiliated with any university or government agency. She isn’t a household name in health policy. She works in a nondescript cubicle in... Read more »

Payment Reform - The Impact On Jobs & The Economy

What will the impact of lowering health care cost growth be on jobs? The health care provider industry is warning about the possible loss of jobs in the health care provider industry. This is apparently striking a chord among some policymakers, who worry about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Health care is a growth industry in the Bay State. Read more »

6 Years Later: Massachusetts Health Reform A Success

This week marks the 6th anniversary of the passage of Massachusetts Health Reform, and we have more evidence than ever that it has been a huge success for patients and consumers in the Commonwealth. We know that Massachusetts boasts the highest coverage rate in the nation with 98 percent of adults and 99.8 percent of children insured. Prior to 2006, a disproportionate number of Hispanics were uninsured with nearly 1 in 4 without access to health care coverage. As of 2010, 96% of the Hispanic population are insured. We know that this means that they are connected to care, as ¾ of those insured... Read more »

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