A Healthy Blog

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

Public Health

T-Minus 1 Week: Payment Reform and Prescription Abuse Bills Waiting Action

With one week to go and around 4 formal session left in the legislative cycle, it's not yet time to haul out The Final Countdown. But it's getting close. Two key bills await action - the comprehensive delivery system reform proposal, usually called "payment reform" for short, and an important bill to curb prescription drug abuse. Payment Reform: Experts Say Consider Data and Policy Options on Employer Fair Share. Will Legislators Act Anyway? The payment reform bill is still being considered by the House-Senate conference Committee. We hear the conferees are "making progress." But we don't... Read more »

T-Minus 3 Weeks: All Eyes On Payment Reform Conference Committee. Here's Some Of Our Priorities.

Today marks three weeks until the final day of formal legislative sessions, July 31 of even-numbered years. On July 31, 2010, the legislature enacted a major health care bill. On July 31, 2008, the legislature enacted a major health reform bill (actually, that wasn't passed until a few minutes after midnight on August 1). See the pattern? Read more »

Stay Healthy, My Friends - Join us Thursday at State House

The most interesting advocates in the world are gathering together at the State House to call for meaningful investment in public health and prevention as a part of payment reform. Civic leaders from around the state are coming and we’re proud of the legislators who are welcoming us to the State House: Sen. Harriette Chandler and Rep. Jason Lewis, Chairs of the Prevention for Health Caucus; Sen. Susan Fargo and Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, Chairs of the Joint Committee on Public Health; and Rep. Stephen Kulik. Read more »

Mayor Menino: Health care vs. sick care: Why prevention is essential to payment reform

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Public Health Commission board chair Dr. Paula Johnson have long been stalwart champions of public health. In a new Boston Globe online op-ed, they lay out the case for substantial, sustained investment in prevention. The op-ed strongly endorses the Prevention and Cost Control Trust, and urges the legislature to include the program as part of the payment reform. Excerpts (emphasis added): Read more »

One-Two From Patrick Adminstration

This week the Patrick administration reaffirmed its commitment to health care in the Commonwealth. First, the Governor's State of the Commonwealth speech focused on payment and delivery system reforms that will stem the rising costs of health care: Read more »

Public Health Investments Pay Off

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a policy brief summarizing four groundbreaking research studies that confirm what we already know: sustained, dedicated, adequate funding for community-based prevention will pay off right away, and even more for the long run. Key findings from the brief highlight the successes of proven, community-based prevention programs: Read more »

National Health Reform Is Good For Massachusetts: New Public Health Grants (but more is needed!)

The administration announced that Massachusetts will be receiving $3 million in federal Community Transformation Grants, to expand community-based programs aimed at improving wellness and reducing health care costs. The funds were authorized under the ACA. Read more »

Must See Video, Yes. But Important Policy Meaning For Us, Too.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/28940439] Both WBUR's CommonHealth and the Globe's White Coat Notes have appropriately linked to this wonderful, creative and smart video, created by Gregory Warner of Marketplace. Read more »

Who should receive scarce medical resources in a disaster? Two community conversations.

CRISIS STANDARDS OF CARE IN DISASTERS AND PANDEMICS: Testing a Process for Community Conversations September 17, 2011 from 9:00-4:00, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA September 22, 2011 from 12:00-4:30, Lawrence Senior Center, Lawrence MA If a disaster or pandemic strikes, overwhelming the healthcare system’s ability to provide care as usual to everyone in need, who should receive scarce medical resources?  And how do we ensure the most fair, ethical and nondiscriminatory treatment of all members of our communities?  Recent events at home and abroad--from Hurricane Katrina to the H1N1... Read more »

Wow! - lots of us support including prevention in payment reform

The Mass Public Health Association released a letter today calling for dedicated funding for community prevention to be part of payment reform (letter, and press release, both pdf). The letter will be delivered today to legislative leaders. It was covered this morning on WBUR, and should get other coverage later. Read more »

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