A Healthy Blog

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

Private Market

State Senate Advances HCFA Privacy Legislation

Last week, the Massachusetts Senate advanced S. 2138, An Act to protect access to confidential health care, a key priority for Health Care For All. The bill would fix a crucial barrier to accessing health care by ensuring that when multiple people are on the same insurance plan, confidential health care information is not shared with anyone other than the patient. Read more »

HCFA Comments on HPC's ACO Standards

Health Care For All submitted detailed comments last week to the Health Policy Commission on their proposed certification standards for ACOs. In our introduction to our comments (submitted in conjunction with Health Law Advocates), we wrote that Read more »

Connector Board Reviews 2016 Open Enrollment, Looks Towards Waiver Application

Last week, the Connector Board met to share progress during open enrollment, discuss proposed policies for a federal State Innovation waiver, and voted on a restructured contract with customer service and billing vendor Dell. Materials from the meeting can be found here. In addition, the Board bid a fond farewell to Dolores Mitchell, who is retiring after nearly 30 years leading the Group Insurance Commission (GIC), the agency that provides health and other benefits to state and certain municipal employees. Dolores has served on the Connector Board since its inception, and for much of the... Read more »

Smoother Sailing for 2016 Open Enrollment

Yesterday, the Health Connector Board met to discuss two topics: 2016 open enrollment and transitioning to the federal risk adjustment program. Materials from the meeting are posted here: https://www.mahealthconnector.org/about/leadership/board-meetings. 2016 Open Enrollment Update 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 »

HCFA Raises Concerns at Insurance Division Session on Regulations

Today the Division of Insurance (DOI) held a public listening session as part of its review of state regulations, as directed by Governor Baker through Executive Order 562 from March of this year. Executive Order 562 is the Governor's controversial directive requiring state agencies to review every state regulation. The Division of Insurance, as part of a statewide effort under the order, is undertaking a review of all of its existing regulations to determine whether there is a clearly identified need for continuing to retain the particular regulation, including:  Read more »

Waivers? We don't need no stinkin' small group insurance rating rules waivers!

Governor Baker grabbed a lot of attention last week over an arcane corner of health insurance regulation - small group rating rules. Read more »

Another Good News / Bad News Report: CHIA's 2014 Health Insurance Survey Released

CHIA, the state’s Center For Health Information and Analysis, released their Findings from the 2014 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey today. The package includes a report, and chartpack (with powerpoint), along with detailed data tables and a methodology explainer. Read more »

House Announces Committee Assignments

Today the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved its committee chairs and members for the new legislative session. That big boom you just heard was the starting gun for the legislative process. Among the new chairs is Boston Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, who will co-lead the Health Care Financing Committee. This committee considers all bills concerning MassHealth, the Health Connector, other program such as the Health Safety Net, and delivery system reforms. It also takes a second look at many health care-related bills first approved by other committees. It has been called the "... Read more »

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