A Healthy Blog

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

MA Health Reform

Connector Meeting Postponed to Monday

The Connector Board meeting originally scheduled for tomorrow has been rescheduled to Monday, March 17th at 9:00am in the Ashburton Café (basement of 1 Ashburton Place, Boston). We expect Sarah Iselin to share her weekly updates on coverage workarounds and application backlogs, among other agenda items.     -Suzanne Curry   Read more »

Two Reports, One Message: 2006 Coverage Expansion Good for Massachusetts (Updated)

More research out on the positive impact of health reform in Massachusetts. One study focused on the use of hospital services by young adults with behavioral disorders. The other looked at financial outcomes.  Both studies reported very interesting, and very good news. Hospitalization For Behavioral Health Declined The authors of the first study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry, evaluated the use of hospital-based care and emergency department visits among young adults (ages 19-25) diagnosed with behavioral health disorders after the expansion of... Read more »

3rd Massachusetts Health Exchange Dashboard Released

In her fourth week on the job, Sarah Iselin conducted her third weekly briefing on the progress the Health Connector and MassHealth have made in addressing the application backlog and moving people into coverage. Their "Dashboard" summarizing progress is available on the Connector's alternative web site. In the past week: Read more »

HCFA Announces: One Care Ombudsman

Today marks the opening of HCFA's role as part of the One Care Ombudsman office.  As part of Health Care For All’s HelpLine team, I will provide information, education, and advocacy to individuals participating in a One Care plan—a new demonstration project that will coordinate care for individuals with disabilities. There are three Integrated Care Organizations contracting with One Care. Network Health’s Unify Program, Fallon Total Care, and Commonwealth Care Alliance plans are available to approximately 90,000 individuals located in nine Massachusetts counties. In order to qualify for One... Read more »

Connector Works On Backlog and Coverage Workarounds. #progress

This morning’s Connector Board meeting served as the second weekly briefing on the Commonwealth’s progress in addressing application backlogs and moving people into coverage, while planning for longer-term website fixes. Materials from the meeting are are on the Connector web site (got to About - Leadership - Board Meetings). The key documents are the powerpoint on open enrollment and the latest "dashboard" summarizing enrollment IT progress.  Yes, there is progress, though much more remains to be done. Our full report is below. Read more »

Health Connector Website/IT Progress Dashboard Released

The State House New Service has already dubbed Sarah Iselin as the "Health Connector web czar." And her official title is apparently "Special Assistant to the Governor for Project Delivery." Whatever her title, she's making big steps forward.. Today she released the first "Massachusetts Health Exchange Dashboard." The document includes the following updates of progress made this week:  Read more »

Do Not Mock the MOCC

MOCC stands for the “Massachusetts Operational Command Center.” It’s the structure set up by Sarah Iselin, the Governor’s special assistant tasked last week with managing the repair of the states health insurance enrollment website and underlying IT. Monitoring operations around the clock, and holding a accountability “Quarterback Call” meetings twice a day – 9:00 am and 5 pm, the center is modeled after the federal Exchange Operations Center in Columbia, MD that fixed the healthcare.gov website.  It’s up to the MOCC to get things working for Massachusetts health care. Do not mock the MOCC.... Read more »

Meet the New Boss. (NOT the same as the old boss)

Click to see NECN report, including interview with HCFA Executive Director Amy Whitcomb Slemmer Read more »

FAQ: Why did the Connector need a new website? Why can’t they just use the old one?

With the continuing issues with the Health Connector/MassHealth enrollment website, we get asked the following questions constantly: The old web site worked just fine. Why did they need to build a new one? Why can’t they just go back to the old one? It’s a fair question. It’s also being asked in a more accusatory manner by some political candidates, who are claiming that we should have asked for a “waiver” from the whole ACA and just kept our old system. What most people who ask this question don’t realize is that the Connctor and MassHealth are trying to build more than just a website. The... Read more »

BREAKING: Health Connector Board Meeting Scheduled For Noon Tomorrow (UPDATED)

The Health Connector has scheduled a board meeting for Thursday, Feb. 6, from 9:00 am to noon. (UPDATED UPDATE: The meeting will start at noon, and is scheduled to go to 3 pm.) According to the agenda (pdf), the only topic is the current open enrollment period. The agenda indicates that a vote is scheduled. Because the meeting was not on the previously established schedule, it will be at Gardner Auditorium, in the State House. Read more »


Subscribe to MA Health Reform