A Healthy Blog

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

Health Care Cost Control

Commence Cost Control: Health Policy Commission's Initial Meeting

[caption id="attachment_8243" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Members of the Health Policy Commission pose with Governor Patrick at their first meeting[/caption] All of the state’s diverse health care hangers-on were present at 9:30 am on Friday for the first meeting of the Health Policy Commission (HPC), with all of the board members in attendance: Chair Dr. Stuart Altman, Marylou Sudders, Dr. David Cutler, Dr. Carole Allen, Jean Yang, Sec. JudyAnn Bigby, Dr. Paul Hattis, Richard Lord, Veronica Turner, Dr. Wendy Everett, and Sec. Jay Gonzalez. Gardner Auditorium was crowded, but not full... Read more »

Big Meeting Day Tomorrow - Health Policy Commission & Connector Both Meet

If you see Administration & Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 16), have some sympathy for his full day of health care meetings. The same applies to lots of other people who live and breath Massachusetts health policy. In the morning is the first meeting of the Health Policy Commission (HPC), the new board set up by Chapter 224 to administer much of the state's cost control policy. Yesterday, the Governor, Attorney General and Auditor announced their appointments to the Commission. Their press release with the names and the backgrounds of the appointees is here. The... Read more »

Happy 0th Birthday, Chapter 224

Today, Chapter 224, the state's cost containment and health delivery system reform law takes effect. It's the law's 0th birthday (except in some east Asian cultures). The Patrick administration sent out a long list of implementation steps already taken. Since the law's signing, they have:   Read more »

Mazel Tov, Stuart

The Patrick administration announced today that Brandeis University health economist Stuart Altman will chair the Health Policy Commission (HPC), the central new policymaker under the Chapter 224, the cost containment law (press release). As expected, the appointment of DHCFP Commissioner Áron Boros to head the Center for Health Information and Analysis, or CHIA, was also announced today (don't worry, Áron already has a chia pet in his office). Read more »

Nu B-mark 4U: New State Cost Containment Web Site

The Governor's office today unveiled a new website that will serve as a central information source on the implementation of the Chapter 224, the Health Care Payment and Delivery System Reform law: www.mass.gov/governor/healthcarecostcontainment. From the state's news release: Read more »

Why We're Optimistic About Payment and Delivery Reform

We've been optimistic about the promise of payment and delivery reform, despite all the challenges ahead in implementing chapter 224. Is that justified? This week, the Institute of Medicine issued a detailed report, Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America: [T]he knowledge and tools exist to put the health system on the right course to achieve continuous improvement and better quality care at lower cost... Read more »

Thanks, David.

Yesterday, State House News ran what on the surface appeared to be a strange story. They devoted an entire article about an aide moving from a legislative office over to the executive branch. Traditionally, legislative staffers are anonymous to the general public. They don’t grab headlines. If they do their jobs right, it’s their bosses who show up in the news, not them. Under most circumstances, an aide changing jobs is not newsworthy. But when David Seltz leaves the Senate President’s office to go to work for the Governor, it’s a different story. In many ways, David is a typical legislative... Read more »

Nancy Turnbull Looks at Payment Reform Law

Writing today in the Health Affairs blog, Harvard School of Public Health Associate Dean and Connector Board Member Nancy Turnbull posts a summary and analysis of chapter 224, the new payment and delivery system reform law. Turnbull rightly focuses on the implementation challenge: Read more »

How We Do? Campaign For Better Care policy recommendations included in Chapter 224: The Chart

Back in January 2010, we launched our Campaign For Better Care, a consumer-driven coalition focused on working to educate the public and policymakers on the consumer stake in payment and delivery system reform. After much internal discussion, the campaign formulated 10 "Principles For Better Care," and we posted them on our website and this blog. Read more »


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