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

Health Care Quality

5 Years of the Consumer Health Quality Council: Watch

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"275","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"344","width":"425","style":""}}]] Health Care For All’s Consumer Health Quality Council (www.hcfama.org/consumercouncil) turned 5 years old yesterday! Read more »

Quality and Cost Council Meeting on Wednesday

The Health Care Quality and Cost Council is meeting this Wednesday, November 16, 1-3pm, at 1 Ashburton Place, 21st floor, Boston. Meetings are open to the public. You can see the agenda here (pdf). In addition to updates from committees, the agenda includes an update on traffic on the MyHealthCareOptions website, a presentation on health care price transparency, and a presentation on communicating with consumers about health care value. Also, the agenda indicates that the QCC’s annual meeting will take place on December 14, 8:30am-12:00, in Worcester.-Deb Wachenheim Read more »

Patient Experience Is Job One

As an article in Tuesday’s NY Times highlighted, Medicare is going to start looking at patient satisfaction survey results when reimbursing hospitals. Hospital representatives quoted in the article are concerned about the negative financial impacts for things they can’t control as opposed to actual clinical quality measures (which will still determine the bulk of the reimbursement they receive). And, of particular note for those of us in MA, hospitals in the Northeast and California are concerned that their patients will “grumble” more than those in other parts of the country! Read more »

Can Payment Reform Improve Health?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/hcfama#p/u/8/QX0_wpk99So] [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"18","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"344","width":"425","style":""}}]] Steve, featured in the video above, gets good care for diabetes through care coordination and innovative payment methods. We need more Steves. Join us at the State House Members' Lounge at 9:30 on Monday morning (Nov. 7), to learn more about chronic disease management programs and payment reform. Read more »

Health Quality Events: QCC Wednesday; MITSS Dinner Nov. 1

Quality and Cost Council Meeting Wednesday The Health Care Quality and Cost Council is holding its monthly meeting this Wednesday, October 19, 1:00-3:00pm. Note the change from the usual location-the meeting is at the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, 2 Boylston Street, 5th floor, Daley Conference Room. The agenda (pdf) includes updates from the Expert Panel on Performance Measurements, the Quality and Safety Committee, and the Advisory Committee. There will also be updates on progress on some elements of the Roadmap to Cost Containment: comparative effectiveness and health... Read more »

Progress Report: One Year of Patient/Family Advisory Councils in all MA Hospitals

October 1 marked one year since date when all MA hospitals were required to establish Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs). The Consumer Health Quality Council (www.hcfama.org/consumercouncil) advocated for the law mandating PFACs and has been closely following implementation. The HCFA PFAC webpage has lots of information, including links to all hospitals’ webpages about their PFACs and/or their 2010 PFAC annual reports. You will see that there are still a few hospitals with no PFAC information, but most hospitals have been working with their PFACs for at least a year, and much longer... Read more »

Always Room for Improvement: Coaching in Healthcare, Teaching, and More

An article in The New Yorkerby Dr. Atul Gawande looks at how coaches can help improve performance in any number of careers…from the obvious ones like sports and entertainment to some that may not be so obvious such as teaching and healthcare. After talking with and observing individuals who have coaches in, for example, music and teaching, Dr. Gawande decided to ask a former colleague and mentor to be his coach…to observe him during surgery and give him feedback afterwards. He found that some seemingly small changes that were recommended by his coach could make a big difference. Dr. Gawande... Read more »

Moving Ahead with Shared Decision-Making

The National Institute for Health Care Reform recently published a paper examining shared decision-making (SDM), the challenges to its widespread implementation, and policy options for increasing its use. Health Care For All and the Consumer Health Quality Council are advocating for legislation to promote SDM in Massachusetts by establishing an advisory committee to work with DPH and by requiring insurance coverage of the use of shared decision-making tools. We think these concepts should be included in part of any payment reform legislation. Read more »

Quality and Cost Council Meets Wednesday

The Health Care Quality and Cost Council is meeting this Wednesday, September 21, 1:30-3:30pm (NOTE the change in the regular time), 1 Ashburton Place, 21st floor. See the agenda (pdf). Meetings are open to the public. -Deb Wachenheim Read more »

Event Next Week on Patient-Caregiver Relationships

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare has organized an interesting event as part of its Speaker Series. On Tuesday, September 20, there will be a discussion of “The Electronic Medical Record’s Impact on the Patient-Caregiver Relationship: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown.” The event is 5:30-7:30 at the Inn at Longwood in the Longwood Medical Area. The keynote speaker is Dr. David Blumenthal, former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. In addition to Dr. Blumenthal, there will be comments from a panel is speakers. This event is free and open to the public, but... Read more »


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