Post Content

Bigbypic2 By Dr. JudyAnn Bigby

This morning I will testify about Governor Patrick’s health care cost containment legislation before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, co-chaired by Senator Richard Moore and Representative Steven Walsh. I’ll be joining Governor Patrick to provide testimony in support of the Governor’s health care payment reform bill, which the Governor filed in February.

The Governor and I feel an acute sense of urgency to take action to reduce the cost of health care in the Commonwealth. We often hear the urgency from families who are struggling to keep up with the premiums they pay, and, despite the ever-increasing costs of their health care, observe that their asthmatic child needs to be treated when symptoms arise and requires hospital admission.  We hear from the son who must act as the “care coordinator” for his elderly parent with multiple health conditions because his parent’s primary care doctor is not paid to coordinate care, only to treat conditions. 

These examples illustrate exactly what is wrong with our health care system: it is expensive and does not consistently pay for the right things.  Our health care system pays for procedures, appointments and tests.  It does not pay for outcomes; it does not pay for keeping an asthmatic child symptom free. It does not recognize the time a primary care doctor spends to make sure a person with a complex medical problem receives coordinated care from rehabilitation and other specialists, as well as care at home.  It does not pay for coordinating the care of elderly or disabled individuals with unique needs. The current system primarily pays for treating patient conditions — not for treating individual patients who want to stay healthy, and get better when they are ill.

Providing more coordinated, integrated care is key to reducing the cost of care and that is exactly what the Governor’s bill envisions: transforming the health care system into one that pays for value, and reimburses doctors, nurses and hospitals to keep people healthy. Providers would coordinate and guide patient care according to the highest quality standards.  We envision an end to paying for unnecessary expensive care and instead, paying for effective care.  In essence, we want to achieve a system that pays providers to take care of patients, rewards better outcomes, and offers the right care in the right place.

I look forward to today’s hearing and am confident that through today’s testimony, we will be moving this important legislation in the right direction to benefit all residents of the Commonwealth.

 # # #

 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Outpouring of Donations Make DCF Kids Christmas Wishes Come True posted on Jan 13

Feeling the joy of the holidays is especially important for children receiving services from the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Not all kids are able to spend Christmas with their biological families and being in need of DCF support can weigh heavily on families   …Continue Reading Outpouring of Donations Make DCF Kids Christmas Wishes Come True

Tips for Seniors: Making Spirits Bright and Healthy This Holiday Season posted on Dec 11

Tips for Seniors: Making Spirits Bright and Healthy This Holiday Season

For seniors, like everyone else, the holidays can be a great time but also an excuse to overindulge but it’s important to remember to enjoy the abundance of sugary, salty and high-fat foods in moderation. Seniors, in particular, must pay close attention to their diet   …Continue Reading Tips for Seniors: Making Spirits Bright and Healthy This Holiday Season

Walk-in support centers make sign up for health insurance easy posted on Dec 4

Walk-in support centers make sign up for health insurance easy

Every day, someone comes into the HealthFirst Family Care Center in Fall River wanting to see a doctor. In some cases, they don’t have health insurance. That’s when Kerri Lewis springs into action. Lewis is working at the Massachusetts Health Connector’s walk-in support center at   …Continue Reading Walk-in support centers make sign up for health insurance easy