A Healthy Blog

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

Health Care Cost Control

Could Cost Transparency Increase Costs?

The Health Care Quality and Cost Council is putting the finishing touches on its first key deliverable, a website with detailed, comparable information on quality and the actual price providers charge for common medical procedures. The quality data will undoubtedly be helpful to consumers and should spur providers to improve their performance. But a new study questions the value of publicizing cost information, and warns that this may lead to higher, not lower costs. Read more »

"It's illegal for a music company to pay a radio dj to put songs on the radio, but when it comes to medicines that mean life and death, a doctor can take hundreds of thousands a year"

Last Thursday's NPR radio show On Point covered the scandal of drug marketing. The main guest was journalist Melody Petersen, who has just written a book, "Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves Into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs." The book was reviewed in the Globe last week (here), which said "Petersen's well-honed reporting skills enable her to build an extraordinarily persuasive argument, methodically laying out case after case of greed, graft, and misconduct chilling in their details." The Times review (here)... Read more »

AMSA Rates Academic Medical Centers on Policies related to Pharmaceutical Gifts and other Industry Relationships

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has released their second annual "PharmFree Scorecard" evaluating Academic Medical Centers' policies to prevent financial conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry. With the help of the Prescription Project, AMSA evaluated the conflict of interest policies at the 150 U.S. medical schools, looking specifically at the existence and strength of plicies regarding: Read more »

Cost Control Conversation Advances As Well

In addition to moving forward the conversation on additional revenue sources for health reform phase 1, yesterday's BCBS of MA Foundation summit signaled what may be a new consensus that fundamental payment reforms must be part of health reform phase 2. Read more »

HCFA's Fifth Policy & Organizing Conference This Friday!

HCFA's 5th Annual Policy and Organizing Conference will be held this Friday! The day will be packed with informative and interesting events, including a keynote address from A&F Secretary (and Connector Board Chair) Leslie Kirwan on cost control, a Community Organizer panel who will address the intersections of policy and organizing, and a ton of workshops on today’s most important healthcare issues. Check out the day’s agenda and a list of conference workshops. Online registration is closed, but you can still register on-site. Read more »

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