A Healthy Blog

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

Health Care Quality

A Day at the State House: Health Care Financing Committee Hears Testimony on Legislation to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs

Prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them, and too many people in Massachusetts can’t afford the high cost of prescription drugs. Here at Health Care For All (HCFA), we know all too well – from real-life stories and statistical data alike – that this is true. That’s why HCFA is a leading member of the MA Prescription Drug Affordability Coalition, a broad-based coalition representing a wide range of stakeholders, including consumer advocates, seniors, children, individuals with disabilities, providers, provider groups, unions, faith-based groups, mental health organizations and... Read more »

Breaking down barriers to care

One of the things we hear over and over is that people cannot afford their co-pays and deductibles. Momentum is building on legislation (H. 3976) to eliminate co-pays for some very high value treatments. Health Care For All activists and staff came together to lobby their state legislators on behalf of the “Barrier Free Care” Bill.  Fifteen activists plus HCFA staff members shared their stories and asked their legislators to work with committee members and leadership to make sure the bill gets passed.    Read more »

MassBudget Study: Positive Health Effects of Earned Income Tax Credit

In the worlds of health care policy and delivery, there is increasing recognition that addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) –access to nutritious foods, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, dependable transportation, well-paying jobs and safety from violence—is essential to improving health outcomes, containing health care costs and addressing health inequities across race and income. In other words, health care is about even more than having insurance coverage and receiving traditional medical care.    The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) recently... Read more »

Psychiatric “Boarding”

By Kate Ginnis, MSW, MPH, Director of Behavioral Health Advocacy & Policy, Boston Children’s Hospital   Children in Crisis Read more »

HCFA’s 2019-2020 Priority Legislation

HCFA worked with a diverse group of legislators in both the House and the Senate to file a broad package of legislation for 2019-2020: Reduce Prescription Drug Costs (H. 1133/S. 706, Representative Barber & Senator Lewis) Read more »

DPH Releases New Infection Data

The MA Department of Public Health recently released its latest set of data (read it here, and scroll down to HAI Data Update) on healthcare-associated infections in Massachusetts acute care hospitals. The data looks at central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and a number of surgical site infections (coronary artery bypass graft, knee replacement, hip replacement, abdominal hysterectomy and vaginal hysterectomy). Read more »

The HPC wants bold and meaningful change

  The Health Policy Commission (HPC) met on Thursday, May 22 to cover a range of HPC activities including updates on the patient-centered medical home certification program, the registration of provider organization program, and the CHART Phase 2 investments. Slides from the meeting (pdf) have lots of details on the discussion. Keep reading for our detailed summary of the agenda points and discussion. Read more »

Why Should You CARe?

  All hospitals should CARe, or in other words, all hospitals, and other health care providers, should implement the Communication, Apology and Resolution (CARe) program that was the focus of a gathering yesterday at the MA Medical Society. Read more »

HCFA Gathers Patient and Family Advisors and Releases Annual Report

On May 14, HCFA held its second annual statewide Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) conference. The conference took place in Worcester and brought together 175 participants from 54 hospitals and health centers. Twelve workshops covered a wide variety of topics, including recruiting to represent the community, improving patient safety and transparency, raising the PFAC’s profile in the hospital, educating the public on end-of-life care and palliative care, and more. See a list of workshops here. Read more »

When Things Go Wrong in the Ambulatory Setting

HCFA is one of a number of organizations involved in the PROMISES (Proactive Reduction of Outpatient Malpractice: Improving Safety, Efficiency, and Satisfaction) Project in Massachusetts. This project, which was funded through the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Medical Liability Reform and Patient Safety Demonstration Grants, has been working to test interventions to improve safety in 16 ambulatory primary care practices. The focus is on improving safety through improvement in test results management, referral management and medication management, with an... Read more »

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