A Healthy Blog

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


Progress For Transgender Health Care; Progress for All

HCFA is extraordinarily pleased with the recent decisions by the Patrick administration supporting health care for people needing gender therapy care. The new policy will allow transgender people across the state to access appropriate mental health care, hormone therapy, and other transition-related care. Read more »

Olivia Richard, One Care, and the Real Value of Care Coordination

The One Care program provides coordinated care to adults with disabilties who are eligible for both Medicare and Masshealth. As of May, the program covers over 13,000 people. One Care goes beyond MassHealth and Medicare to proivde expanded services and a person-centered philosophy. It demonstrates how changing how health care is paid can change how care is delivered. Read more »

Dental Health in the Media: Discussions for MA and for the Nation

Dental health issues were in the spotlight today both on a state and national level.  Looking at Massachusetts, the Public News Service released a story about the increase in dental-related visits to emergency rooms following cuts in adult dental care in MassHealth in 2010. Read more »

Connector Board Discusses Path Forward for IT Systems Fix, Repeals Employer Regulations

Last Thursday, the Health Connector Board met to discuss progress with the “dual track” plan to fix the eligibility and enrollment system; vote on work orders with business vendor Dell; and vote to repeal employer-related regulations. Jean Yang began with her Executive Director’s report, with a preview of the July board meeting. In July, Connector staff plan to come to the Board with: Read more »

Breaking: Health Connector Announces Coverage Extensions

At this morning’s Health Connector Board meeting, Maydad Cohen, the new health reform implementation czar (official title: Special Assistant to the Governor for Project Delivery), announced that Massachusetts received approval from federal CMS officials to extend the Commonwealth Care and temporary MassHealth coverage programs through December 31, 2014. Over 100,000 residents are enrolled in Commonwealth Care and 227,000 residents are receiving temporary MassHealth coverage. People who are getting coverage through these programs will have their coverage automatically extended through the end... Read more »

Not For Wonks Only: House/Senate Budgets Comparison

The Mass Medicaid Policy Institute released its latest budget analysis comparing the FY 2015 House and Senate budgets for MassHealth and health reform programs. The analysis, prepared with the Mass Law Reform Institute and the Mass Budget and Policy Center, goes deep into the details now being hashed out by the House-Senate Conference Committee on the state budget for the upcoming year. The report highlights two differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget that we're particularly focused on: Read more »

The ACA Is Good For Massachusetts - Coverage Simplification Edition

The Blue Cross Foundation today issued an update to their essential chartpack, MassHealth: The Basics - Facts, Trends and National Context. The charts are prepared by the Center for Health Law and Economics at the UMass Medical School, and put MassHealth, our Medicaid program, in the context of who gets helped, what it costs, and how people get coverage. The Foundation has been issuing these periodically since 2008, and they are the definitive source of background on MassHealth.The latest one includes charts showing that Read more »

The End of an Era – A Legislative Giant Retires in Washington

Normally, the retirement of a member of Congress representing a district nearly 2,000 miles from Massachusetts would not be mentioned on this blog.  But Congressman Henry Waxman’s announcement today that he will be leaving public life at the end of this year is a notable exception. During his 40 (yes, 40!) years in the House of Representatives, there was scarcely any piece of health care legislation that did not have his fingerprints on it.  As Chairman of the Health and the Environment Subcommittee, Waxman held the first hearings into the emerging HIV/AIDS crisis, exposed deceitful practices... Read more »

Wonk Alert: Health Reform Trust Fund Primer

Wonks, start your salivating. This is the real thing. How good is this?: Read more »

Governor Patrick: Health Care Reform Works in Massachusetts and It Will Work in America

Governor Patrick published a piece in the Huffington Post today with the self-explaining title, "Health Care Reform Works in Massachusetts and It Will Work in America." In the piece, the Governor goes beyond the statistics and presents some stories (that's how we roll, too): I met a young woman named Jaclyn, a cancer survivor who got life-saving care through our version of an exchange. She had no way to afford care before health care reform -- it saved her life. A self-employed man named Ken ignored his gastrointestinal symptoms for years because he couldn't afford to see a doctor or pay for... Read more »


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