Massachusetts Again Ahead of the Curve
Side Note: In the health care world, Massachusetts has a reputation for being progressive and ahead of its time. Massachusetts has already enacted universal coverage and is now looking to undertake the next step and work on cost-containment. Many health care experts are watching Massachusetts to see what lessons can be learned and applied, particularly on a national level.
Gov. Deval Patrick revealed his large-scale plan in February for cost-containment. We will highlight some of the most interesting parts of the proposal here. First, the plan utilizes the concept of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). An ACO is a group of hospitals or practices that work together to coordinate and integrate care and then share in the cost-savings. According to the bill, participation in ACOs would be voluntary and aims not only at generating savings, but also focusing on preventative care for patients and transparency. The second major piece of Gov. Patrick’s plan pertains to the Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner. The bill would give the Insurance Commissioner significant powers, including review of insurers’ rates and the ability to reject rates that were too high. The third major aspect of the bill involves trying to reform the medical liability system by working to resolve med mal cases more quickly and working to reduce the practice of defensive medicine. We applaud the efforts of Massachusetts to improve the health care system, particularly the Massachusetts med mal system. We believe that by reforming the Massachusetts med mal system, physicians will be able to see lower Massachusetts liability insurance premiums, which is what we here at MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com like to see.
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Cost control the next step for Massachusetts health reform
By Tanya Albert Henry, amednews correspondent. Posted March 28, 2011.
Already a pioneer of health coverage expansion, Massachusetts is beginning to tackle the critical next phase of its health system reforms: containing costs. There may be debate about the best way to accomplish that, but observers agree it is the necessary next step if universal coverage is to be successful.
As physicians in Massachusetts work to help shape payment changes and other cost-containing efforts, the nation’s eyes are on the commonwealth to see how the process plays out and what lessons can be adapted to national health system reform implementation.