A Healthy Blog

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

Health Care Cost Control

Payment Comissions Transitions to Transition

The Payment Reform Commission met Friday May 8th to continue the conversation on how to move Massachusetts to a payment system where global payments are the predominant form of reimbursement. Meeting materials are available here. The Commission’s discussion centered on how the state should transition and sustain a global payment model. The Commission is recommending a careful transition from the fee-for-service system with a transition period of no longer than five years. Read more »

Payment Reform Commission Meets Friday; And Our Principles

The Payment Reform Commission will meet Friday, May 8th, from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm in the 21st floor conference room of One Ashburton Place, Boston. Materials for the meeting will be posted here. We'll try to post a full report after the meeting. We expect the Commission to continue discussing how to move the Massachusetts health care system towards global payments. The Commission must decide several key issues including how global payment amounts will be determined, how to motivate providers to move to global payments and how fast movement can occur. Read more »

Health Care Quality and Cost Council Meeting Wednesday

The Health Care Quality and Cost Council is meeting on Wednesday, April 15, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 pm, at One Ashburton Place, 21st Floor, Boston. The agenda includes committee reports and the following discussion items: A.Vote on Website Analytic Vendor’s Recommendations for Resolving Methodological Issues – MHQP B.Vote on the Expert Panel on Race, Ethnicity and Language Data Collection Recommendations C.Chapter 305: Special Commission on Payment System Reform Recommendations D.Roadmap to Cost Containment update – Bailit E.Chapter 305: EOHHS Study on the Development of an Interstate... Read more »

Payment Reform Commission: How Should MA Move Towards Global Payments?

The Payment Reform Commission met this afternoon to discuss how and at what pace to advance movements toward global payments. Meeting materials used to guide the discussion are available here. DHCFP Commissioner Sarah Iselin and consultant Michael Bailit recapped the last meeting of the Commission. The Commission reached consensus that global payments with performance metrics to ensure access and quality and promote care coordination should be the goal of payment reform. Commissioner Iselin urged the Commission to focus on steps needed to move towards global payments at a realistically urgent... Read more »

Mass Health Information Technology Council - Public Hearings, Public Meetings

First Public Hearing: Monday, April 13, Mass Medical Society, 6 – 8pm Read more »

Payment Reform Commission Goes Bold

Secretary Leslie Kirwan opened today’s Commission meeting by saying that they should act boldly with their recommendations for payment reform. And they did, settling on global capitated payments as their preferred payment model. Read more »

Consumers Meet Payment Reform Commission

Today HCFA hosted the consumer stakeholder engagement meeting with the Special Commission on the Health Payment System. The Payment Commission is holding a second round of meetings with stakeholders prior to their coming up with recommendations for revamping the health payment system in Massachusetts. Their first meeting to begin discussing recommendations will be this Friday, April 3, from 12-5 (5 hours!), at 1 Ashburton, 21st floor, Boston. Materials will be posted here. Read more »

Cost and Quality Council Meeting Wednesday

The Health Care Quality and Cost Council will be meeting Wednesday, March 18, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, at One Ashburton Place, 21st floor, Boston. The agenda includes reports from the various committees (End of Life Care, Chronic Care, Patient Safety, Cost Containment, Communications & Transparency and Advisory), and discussions on the Website Analytic Vendor, a Data Intake Proposal and the Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System. Click here to download the agenda (.pdf). Read more »

MPRC Day- Part Deux: Legislative Hearing on data-mining bill

The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing will host a legislative hearing at noon on Wednesday, March 11th in Room B-1. As we discussed here, this bill will prevent the use of health data for marketing purposes. Pharmaceutical companies use data they bought from Health Information Organizations (HIO's) to directly target a physician to switch from drug A to drug B. This practice increases costs to the health care system, and can endanger patient safety. The Massachusetts Prescription Reform Coalition will be providing testimony in support of SB 17, SB 19, HB 109, and HB110. Follow us as we... Read more »

Final Vote on gift ban and disclosure regulations: March 11th at 9am

The Public Health Council will vote on the final gift ban and disclosure regulations as drafted by the Department of Public Health. As we have discussed numerous times on this blog (here, here, and here), these regulations are intended to regulate the marketing conduct of the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. These industries spend billions of dollars annually in marketing to promote their products. Much of the money is spent directly on prescribers with the intent of encouraging providers to prescribe certain drugs or devices. While some of this money is used for legitimate... Read more »


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