A Healthy Blog

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

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Oral Health Study Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study,Massachusetts can boast the second-highest rate of dentists per person in the country. The study results showed the District of Columbia in the lead, with Massachusetts following close behind. Read more »

Third Birthday for Quality and Disparities Initiatives in Chapter 58

As we celebrate three years of healthcare reform this week and applaud the great work that has brought insurance coverage to hundreds of thousands of individuals across the Commonwealth, we should also recognize efforts in the law to improve health care quality and eliminate health disparities. Read more »

Addressing Health Disparities in a time of Economic Crisis

On Wednesday, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a live webcast that explored the national economic downturn’s impact on health in communities of color. Hosted by the Foundation’s Senior Policy Analyst Cara James, PhD, the forum facilitated the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Medical Director Dr. Lauren Smith, Howard University’s Chair of Economics William Spriggs, PhD, and the Consumer Union’s Senior Attorney Adrienne Hahn, Esq. Read more »

Health Disparities Council Meets

The Health Disparities Council met today with Senator Susan Fargo and Representative Byron Rushing as co-chairs and EOHHS Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby attending. Members of the committee provided an update on the Framework Group, emphasizing a need for more complete definitions around “health disparities.” The co-chairs also agreed that the phrase “health inequity” could be incorporated into the Council’s language. Members also updated the committee about the Report Card Group and the QCC Racial, Ethnic, and Language Group. There was lots of discussion around how and when to record ethnicity... Read more »

Disparities Council Meets Monday Afternoon

The Health Disparities Council will meet on Monday, March 23rd from 1 to 3 PM at One Ashburton Place (21st Floor in Rooms 2 & 3). For more information on the Council, or to receive Council communications, contact Yashira Pepin at Yashira.Pepin@state.ma.us. The agenda includes updates on the Framework, Report Card, and QCC Racial, Ethnic and Language Groups as well as a website update. There will be an update on the commission recommendations, and a discussion on future presentations on racial and ethnic health disparities through a civil rights lens. Read more »

Health Disparities Council meets Feb. 23rd

The Health Disparities Council will meet on Monday February 23rd from 2pm-4pm. (100 Cambridge Street, Conference Rooms C and D, Boston). Click here to view the Meeting Agenda (.pdf). Read more »

Kudos to AG Coakley for Updated Community Benefits Guidelines

Yesterday Attorney General Martha Coakley released updated Community Benefit Guidelines for Non Profit Acute Care Hospitals and Health Maintenance Organizations (Links: the guidelines and the press release). The AG and her staff led a thoughtful guideline revision process including convening an Advisory Task Force that worked via consensus to advise the AG (HCFA was honored to serve on the Task Force) and a public comment period. Read more »

E-Health On The Move

HCFA's Consumer Network for Healthcare e-Quality Luncheon Series Friday featured a presentation by Jerilyn Heinold and Diane Stone, Directors of two HISPC (Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative) projects, a joint effort of the federal government and state groups working to move health information technology forward in a thoughtful, consumer-centric way. The presentation for this meeting, "HISPC Multi-State Consumer Education & Engagement Collaborative" (click here for presentation summary), covered the many areas, including a self-directed tutorial, FAQs, legal inventory... Read more »

HCFA’s 2009 Legislative Agenda - Parts 3 and 4

Over the next few days, HCFA will be highlighting legislative agenda. Parts one and two covered children's health and health reform. Our second installment covers quality, electronic health privacy, and disparities: Improving Quality and Advancing E-Health The Consumer Health Quality Council, in partnership with Health Care For All, has worked with legislators to file three healthcare quality improvement bills. The bills seek to decrease healthcare-associated infections, prevent medical errors, and reduce medication errors. Below is a summary of each bill: Read more »

New Year = new Disparities Council schedule

The next Disparities Council meeting will take place on January 26th from 3 to 5 PM in the Conference room adjacent to the One Ashburton Cafe in the building's basement. Starting in March and ending in December, the Council will meet on the 4th Monday of the month from 2 to 4 PM on the 21st floor of One Ashburton. A February meeting time has not been scheduled yet. We'll post meeting agendas as they're available. Read more »


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