A Healthy Blog

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

Health Care Quality

ACOs are an "opportunity to accelerate progress toward genuine patient-centered care delivery"

Earlier this month, Health Care for All actively contributed to the Health Policy Commission’s public hearing concerning their ACO (Accountable Care Organization) certification standards. ACOs provide coordinated care through their doctors, hospitals and other clinical and non-clinical staff, working together to improve the quality and affordability of care. HCFA representatives Steve Slaten, Valerie Spain, Brian Rosman, Alyssa Vangeli, and Helen Hendrickson testified at the hearing, offering consumer viewpoints on how to strengthen the proposed standards. Read more »

HPC Getting Set to Name Names?

On November 18th, the Health Policy Commission (HPC) Board met to discuss a number of new developments that relate to rising healthcare costs and quality improvement in the Commonwealth. The full slides from Wednesday’s presentations can be found here. The meeting started with a presentation from Executive Director David Seltz summarizing recent activities at the HPC. Mr. Seltz outlined recent successes from the CHART Investment Program – a program to improve hospital outcomes through an aggressive series of awards, coaching, and technical assistance. This month, eight new awards were... Read more »

Globe lead editorial supports HCFA bill: “Medical privacy plan offer sensible remedy”

Today, the Boston Globe added its voice to the chorus of supporters for the bill currently up for consideration in the state legislature that would strengthen confidentiality protections for patients who are dependents on someone else’s health insurance plan.  Read more »

Health Policy Commission Looks at Connecticut, Accountable Care, Substance Abuse and Hospital Improvements - and more

On Wednesday, the Health Policy Commission (HPC) Board met and tackled a number of issues, including updates on new Material Change Notices, planning for the 2015 Cost Trends Hearing and Cost Trends Report, developments in PCMH and ACO certification standards, new research in substance use disorders and opiate exposed newborns, and updates in the Phase 2 of the CHART investment program. You can download the slide deck with all the materials from the meeting here. And you can click on for our detailed breakdown. Read more »

More on our Report Card of Insurer Consumer Cost Websites

  Our release last Tuesday of our first report card comparing the consumer cost transparency web sites of the three major insurers in Massachusetts (download and read it here) garnered lots of attention. The Boston Globe's lead Metro story covered the report card, and HCFA ED Amy Whitcomb Slemmer was interviewed about it on Boston Neighborhood News:   Read more »

HPC Committees Look at OPP Regulations and Behavioral Health Issues

Earlier this week, two committees of the Health Policy Commission met to: Hold a public hearing on proposed updates to Office of Patient Protection (OPP) regulations Host a presentation from the Office of the Attorney General on their recent behavioral health report, “Examination of Health Care Cost Trends and Cost Drivers” Discuss the Recommendations from the Governor’s Opioid Task Force Report Discuss the Health Policy Commissions Substance Use Disorder Report, due out in early December A presentation combining all the slides from the meeting is posted here. Proposed Updates to OPP... Read more »

New MA Primary Care Patient Experience Data Released

MA Health Quality Partners (MHQP) today released its latest set of patient experience data for adult primary care and pediatric practices across Massachusetts. Visit healthcarecompassma.org to view data for your provider or others in your region of the state. You can compare up to three providers at a time. The data was gathered from patient experience surveys sent out in 2014. MHQP received 64,000 completed surveys (44,000 for adult primary care and 20,000 for pediatric care). Clinical quality measures are also reported on the website. Read more »

Forum on Apology and Disclosure HighLights Progress in Massachusetts

MACRMI (The Massachusetts Alliance for Communication and Resolution following Medical Injury) held its 3rd annual CARe Forum yesterday. MACRMI works to advance the development of Communication, Apology and Resolution (or CARe) programs in Massachusetts hospitals. These programs are intended to foster openness and transparency following the occurrence of a medical error or an unanticipated outcome. There are many resources on the MACRMI website. Read more »

PFAC Members Gather for HCFA’s Annual Conference

Over 200 Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) members from across Massachusetts gathered at the College of the Holy Cross conference center on Tuesday for a full day of learning and networking. With 64 hospitals and clinics represented at the conference, attendees came from as close by as Worcester and as far away as Nantucket and the Berkshires. Many of them took time off from work or from family responsibilities for the opportunity to learn from one another and from other experts in the field. Read more »

HCFA Releases Massachusetts Hospital/Clinic Patient and Family Advisory Councils Report

Health Care For All, in partnership with its Massachusetts PFAC Advisory Board, released its 4th annual summary of the efforts of Massachusetts Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs). HCFA was the lead advocate for the 2008 law requiring all Massachusetts hospitals to establish PFACs. The PFAC regulations require all hospitals to write annual PFAC reports outlining their activities over the previous year. All Massachusetts hospitals' 2014 annual reports are posted on the HCFA website. The latest HCFA report summarizes all of these individual reports, giving a snapshot of Massachusetts... Read more »


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