A Healthy Blog

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

Health Care Cost Control

One-Two From Patrick Adminstration

This week the Patrick administration reaffirmed its commitment to health care in the Commonwealth. First, the Governor's State of the Commonwealth speech focused on payment and delivery system reforms that will stem the rising costs of health care: Read more »

Some More Good Stuff From MMPI

Kate Nordahl and the Mass Medicaid Policy Institute keep churning out more good stuff. Next up are two timely papers: Read more »

Public Hearings on Duals Initiative - First Hearing Friday, in Worcester

We want to remind everyone of the listening sessions on the state's proposal to provide integrated care for disabled adults who receive both Medicare and Medicaid. The first session is this Friday, Dec. 16, 1 pm at the Worcester Public Library. You can distribute this flyer (pdf), prepared by Disability Advocates Advancing our Healthcare Rights. The flyer invites people to raise a number of issues critical to the DAAHR coalition: Read more »

Must Reading: Berwick's Reply

In a talk at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement annual forum this week, Don Berwick encapsulated his wisdom of how health care change can happen, his rage at the politics and cynicism that accompanied his work at CMS, and his optimism for a more humane and efficient health care system. I'd strongly urge everyone to read the entire speech. It's so hard to pick out the highlights, but here are some excerpts: Read more »

Quality and Cost Council Annual Meeting

The MA Health Care Quality and Cost Council is holding its annual meeting on Friday, December 16, 8:30-12:00 (program starts at 9:00) in Shrewsbury. Click here for more information and to register. The featured speaker is Jeff Selberg, Executive Vice President and COO at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The meeting’s focus will be on “value based purchasing in health care.” The meeting is open to all members of the public.-Deb Wachenheim Read more »

Lower Copays Create Better Patient Outcomes

A recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that the simple strategy of eliminating copayments may improve the quality of health outcomes for patients. The study, supported by the Commonwealth Fund, concludes that patients discharged from the hospital following myocardial infarction (heart attack) were more likely to take vital medications prescribed for their condition when copayments were waived. The patients with full coverage for their medications also experienced fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other vascular events during the study period, as compared with... Read more »

Public Health Investments Pay Off

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a policy brief summarizing four groundbreaking research studies that confirm what we already know: sustained, dedicated, adequate funding for community-based prevention will pay off right away, and even more for the long run. Key findings from the brief highlight the successes of proven, community-based prevention programs: Read more »

Successful Dress Rehearsal For Payment Reform Debate

Why should an obscure state advisory board make national observers take notice? Because it's a strong indication that Massachusetts is moving towards taking strong action to control health care cost growth. Read more »

One Of These States Is Not Like The Other

What's right with this chart? It comes a new report (press release; full report (pdf)) that quantifies what Health Care For All has been saying all along - drug coupons actually don’t lower costs for consumers but drive up prices and encourage patients to take more expensive, newer drugs. Read more »

Can Payment Reform Improve Health?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/hcfama#p/u/8/QX0_wpk99So] [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"18","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"344","width":"425","style":""}}]] Steve, featured in the video above, gets good care for diabetes through care coordination and innovative payment methods. We need more Steves. Join us at the State House Members' Lounge at 9:30 on Monday morning (Nov. 7), to learn more about chronic disease management programs and payment reform. Read more »


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