A Healthy Blog

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

Health Care Cost Control

Health Policy Commission Unveils 2013 Cost Trends Report and Awards $10M for Community Hospitals

The Health Policy Commission (HPC) met Wednesday, January 8, for its first meeting of 2014.  Following suit from the last full meeting, the 2013 Cost Trends Report was a main topic of discussion. Also on deck was a presentation about the award recipients for the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation (CHART) program and an update on the registration of provider organizations. Materials from the meeting are here, and our full report is on the back side. Read more »

Health Policy Commission Unveils 2013 Cost Trends Report and Awards $10M for Community Hospitals

The Health Policy Commission (HPC) met Wednesday, January 8, for its first meeting of 2014.  Following suit from the last full meeting, the 2013 Cost Trends Report was a main topic of discussion. Also on deck was a presentation about the award recipients for the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation (CHART) program and an update on the registration of provider organizations. Materials from the meeting are here, and our full report is on the back side. Read more »

Is The Price Right? Now You Can Check. Massachusetts Issues Consumer-Friendly Transparency Guidelines for Health Insurers

Economist Uwe Reinhardt has an apt description of how the complete lack of information around health insurance prices feels to consumers: “Imagine a department store whose customers are blindfolded before entering. A shopper might enter the store seeking to buy an affordable dress shirt and a tie, but exit it with a pair of boxer shorts and a scarf. Sometime later, he would receive an invoice, whose details would be incomprehensible to him, save for one item: a dollar amount in a framed box with the words: “Pay this amount.” Read more »

Health Policy Commission Looks Backward, Forward, Southward

The Health Policy Commission met Wednesday December 18, for its 11th full meeting. The bulk of the meeting focused on a presentation of the preliminary findings of the 2013 Cost Trends Report and an update on the Cost and Market Impact Review of the acquisition of South Shore Hospital and Harbor Medical Associates by Partners HealthCare.  The slide deck is here, and our full report is on the backside: Read more »

Campaign for Better Care 10 Core Principles

The Massachusetts Campaign for Better Care joins consumer groups who are working together for comprehensive health care delivery system reform. We believe that Massachusetts can improve the health and economic security of all residents by reforming the health care system to provide care that is affordable, cost-effective, coordinated, equitable and high-quality. A critical tool for improving care is payment reform. Re-orienting the way doctors, hospitals, and other providers are paid can align incentives to promote patient-centered care that focuses on health and disease prevention, lowering... Read more »

Campaign for Better Care Principles Reflected in Chapter 224

We are proud that so many of our core principles are reflected in Chapter 224.  Read more »

HPC: PCMHs, RPO, OPP, CHART and CMIRs (You Can Look It Up)

Hope you got your acronym cheat sheet handy. The Health Policy Commission (HPC) met for its tenth full commission meeting on Wednesday November 20th.  Several important issues were discussed at the meeting, including the patient center medical home (PCMH) certification, the Registered Provider Organization (RPO) program, the Office of Patient Protection (OPP) regulations, and several updates on cost trends and market performance including Cost and Market Impact Reviews (CMIRs). Follow along with the presentation deck for the meeting, and click on for our full report. Read more »

Health Policy Commissioner Paul Hattis Reflects After First Year Of Cost Control

Today marks one year since the inaugural meeting of the Health Policy Commission (see our report, Commence Cost Control), and at Wednesday's meeting, board members will reflect on their first year, and look forward to the second year. Dr. Paul Hattis was appointed to represent expertise in health care consumer advocacy on the HPC board. Dr. Hattis is a long-time friend of HCFA, through his leadership in GBIO, including co-chairing their health care team. We invited Paul to write his own reflections on the role of HPC in our efforts to control costs and reform our health care system, and his... Read more »

Standardard Quality Measure Committee Approves Final Report

The Statewide Quality Advisory Committee met last Monday and approved its year 2 final report. The report should be posted on the website soon, and you can see last year's report and meeting materials here. Before approving the final report, the group heard a presentation from Dr. John Wasson, the creator of www.howyourhealth.org, a tool for measuring patient confidence in care. Read more »

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