Paul F. Levy and W. David Stephenson
Published in the current issue of the Boston Business Journal
Massachusetts has a stunning opportunity to break open many of the mysteries surrounding delivery of health care. Doing so will help resolve important public policy issues. It will help contain rising health care expenses. And, it will even help save lives and improve the public health.
Doing this requires no new state law. The law is already on the books. It requires no addition to the state budget. The costs have already been incurred.
What could cause so dramatic an impact? Liberating data that is already in the hands of the state government.
Continue reading “Free Our Data and Improve Public Health!”
Posted 11/19/11 on Managed Care Matters
First published 6/24/11 on Health Blawg
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley released her office’s second annual report, An Examination of Health Care Cost Trends and Drivers (PDF; see also press release), which contains a wealth of critical data analysis — and also highlights how little we know about certain things — providing some important context for the discussion of the proposed Part III of Massachusetts health reform, a bill filed by Governor Patrick which would create all-payor ACOs and a system of global payments.
At this late date, few would argue against a move a way from fee-for-service reimbursement for health care, or adding quality metrics to the mix, and tying financial rewards to providers to their performance measured against these metrics. (Consider the Massachusetts Blue Cross Blue Shield ACQ (alternative quality contract) experience.) The AG’s report, however, highlights the wide disparities in payments to providers based on negotiating strength, rather than quality or cost of care (as noted in last year’s AG report; check out the 2009 special commission report, too).
Continue reading “The Massachusetts Experiment Analyzed: Are We Ready For Global Payment?”