Today I want to give you an update on the Division’s work related to Chapter 288 – the bill Governor Patrick signed into law this past August to provide relief to small businesses from escalating premiums. When the bill was passed, I blogged about the Division’s role in implementing parts of the new law. The three broad efforts include: promoting transparency, integrating health care, and improving quality.
In terms of promoting transparency, the new legislation requires us to define, collect, and publicly report data on total medical expenses (TME), relative prices, and hospital inpatient and outpatient costs. TME and relative prices will help us to better understand the variation in the cost of care and prices paid to different provider groups by geographic locations across Massachusetts. Moreover, establishing uniform reporting on hospital inpatient and outpatient costs will help policy makers identify the differing financial structures among disproportionate share hospitals, teaching hospitals, and academic research centers.
At the Division, we are working very closely with stakeholders to develop regulations that will shed more light on our health care delivery system. To that end, we’ve convened a technical advisory group comprised of insurers and providers to assist us in the process. The Division will soon propose the adoption of new regulations regarding total medical expenses, relative prices, and hospital inpatient and outpatient cost reporting.
Long-term, these regulations will help us better promote integration and coordination of care and reduce the cost of care delivered to the residents of the Commonwealth. Additionally, data collection and public reporting will help to further explore the relationship between the cost and quality of services and, hopefully, encourage and assist employers and consumers alike to become more prudent purchasers of health care services.
The Division will hold a consultative session in a few weeks and plans to propose the regulations in November. I invite you to attend the session, provide comments, and stay tuned for further developments as the Division continues to advance full transparency in the Massachusetts health care delivery system.
As a part of our commitment to transparency and engagement in government, the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy uses several social media tools including Twitter, Blogs, and RSS feeds. We use these tools to keep you informed about the work we are doing and as a way to get feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and you can learn more by visiting the Commonwealth Conversations: Mass Health Care blog.
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse
A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community posted on Apr 14
When it comes to our daily commute, we could all use a little inspiration. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to encourage employers in eastern Massachusetts to participate in the 2014 Walk/Ride Corporate Challenge — an annual competition that encourages workers to use …Continue Reading A Healthier Commute – for a Healthier Community
Highlights of the April 9th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Apr 9
This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council included a series of Determination of Need (DON) requests, followed by a set of three of informational presentations on pending amendments to regulations. The Council took up deliberations for a series of three Determination of Need requests, …Continue Reading Highlights of the April 9th Public Health Council Meeting