A Healthy Blog

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


The Skinny on Implementing "Rosie D"

The always-excellent Mass. Medicaid Policy Institute has just published a first-rate briefing paper on one of the major issues in children's mental health in Massachusetts: Implementing the Rosie D. Remedy: The Opportunities and Challenges of Restructuring a System of Care for Children's Mental Health in Massachusetts. Click here for the paper. Here's MMPI's description: Read more »

The Time is Now: Kids Mental Health Advocacy Day Report

Yesterday, more than 300 parents, family members, mental health professionals, advocates, and legislators gathered at the State House in support of H. 4276, An Act Relative to Children’s Behavioral Health, that will improve the children’s mental health system in Massachusetts. The rally, which was hosted by MSPCC President Marylou Sudders, featured speeches from Lt. Governor Tim Murray, Senate President Therese Murray, senators Steven Tolman, Karen Spilka, and Richard Moore, and Representative Ruth Balser (the lead sponsor of this legislation). Additionally, twelve parents and youths spoke... Read more »

This Thursday, 10/11, Take a Stand for Children's Mental Health Reform

This Thursday, October 11, starting at 10am, you are invited to be part of the Children’s Mental Health Campaign Advocacy Day in Nurses Hall at the State House. The CMH Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Children's Mental Health Campaign, will focus on the need to improve mental health services for children in Massachusetts, as outlined in An Act Relative to Children’s Mental Health (HB1872/SB1133). Click here for the fact sheet. The event will begin with a speaking program including legislators, other elected officials, and families who have struggled to find appropriate treatment for their... Read more »

Update on MassHealth Dental Rates -- A DHCFP Hearing

Earlier this week, the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) heard testimony regarding their proposals to adjust reimbursement rates paid to dental providers who treat MassHealth patients. In Massachusetts we face a crisis of access to dental care for the poor. Over half our cities and towns have no dental provider and the misdistribution of those who will see MassHealth patients leaves those living in areas like Western Massachusetts with few options. Having good oral health is essential to having good overall health. Associations between dental disease and adverse outcomes... Read more »

EOHHS FY09 Budget Hearings

EOHHS Secretary Judy Ann Bigby will conduct two public hearings to hear the views of community members regarding the agencies under her purview. Wednesday, October 3, 2007 -- 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Reggie Lewis Center, 1350 Tremont St, Roxbury, MA -- Wednesday, October 3, 2007-- 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.Western New England College School of Law Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA -- Rivers Memorial Hall Thursday, October 4, 2007 -- 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester The hearings will tentatively be divided as follows: 10:00 to 11:00 Veterans, Elder Affairs, Soldiers’ Homes... Read more »

Stress of Success 2

Yesterday, the HCFA helpline team met with staff at the Revere MassHealth Enrollment Center (MEC) for an engaging and educational meeting on internal procedures and best practices for troubleshooting. It was incredible to see walk-in applicants and frontline workers in action and to understand more deeply the intricacy involved in processing an application. Lots of things are happening at the ground level and we want to take this moment to share what we learned. Read more »

MassHealth, Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice Enrollment Outreach Grants

EOHHS has issued a Request for Responses (RFR) to solicit grant proposals from community and consumer-focused public and private nonprofit organizations to reach and enroll potentially eligible residents in MassHealth, Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice. Details of this notification are on the Comm-PASS website. The document details are: Title: MassHealth, Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice Enrollment Outreach Grants RFR; Document Number: MH082907001; Comm-PASS Category: Professional Services. Read more »

Week of Numbers - I

This is numbers week for the Healthy Blog. Late August is when lots of statistics seem to issue forth from their bureaucratic hiding place. First up: 1,081,823. That’s the total MassHealth enrollment, as of June 30, 2007. For the first year of health reform, June 30, 2006 to June 30, 2007, MassHealth’s net enrollment growth was 47,378. The increase for kids was 22,873; for adults, 24,505 (including 5,602 disabled adults and 2,349 seniors). For a historical perspective, see the helpful chart maintained by the Mass Medicaid Policy Institute below (not updated for the latest month) The program... Read more »

Dental Health, Medicaid, and SCHIP -- New KFF Brief

The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has released a fact sheet called: “Dental coverage and care for low-income children: The Role of Medicaid and SCHIP.” This paper provides a national view of children’s dental health and the solutions we need to work together to accomplish to ensure that all children have access to health care. Below is an excerpt from this paper. Read more »

Application and Enrollment Delays: One More Thing

The frustrating delays and glitches many applicants are experiencing when applying for MassHealth or Commonwealth Care (see post below) has important implications for the next big item on the health policy agenda: the new Pool regulations. The proposed new rules for the "Health Safety Net Trust Fund," (the new Pool) take away the current interim coverage while low-income patients are figuring out their eligibility for MassHealth or other programs. People who lose MassHealth or Commonwealth Care eligibility due to systems problems, lost payments or other reasons would not have the Pool as a... Read more »


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