Despite these milestones and great momentum, I still consider the Division’s biggest accomplishment to be the transparent, robust, and open dialogue we have fostered with the greater community. As we build this database, we value your thoughts on potential uses for this information. The APCD must be a beneficial tool for all stakeholders – not just government – as we move toward full transparency of health care costs and quality.
To that end, the Division convened an open forum in Worcester last week with representation from employers, providers, and payers. In close collaboration with our partners (Associated Industries of Massachusetts; Retailers Association of Massachusetts; Progressive Business Leaders Network; Massachusetts Association of Health Plans; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Massachusetts Business Roundtable; and Massachusetts Hospital Association), we were able to have an in-depth conversation about the APCD.
In addition to sharing how I think the APCD can inform employers in their consideration of health benefit plans and worksite wellness programs, or enlighten providers in their quality improvement initiatives, this public dialogue was an opportunity for the Division to hear and consider new, thoughtful approaches to maximizing the usefulness of an APCD. The high turnout and detailed level of input was very productive, to say the least.
Thus, the Division will schedule additional forums with stakeholders across Massachusetts in order to ensure we hear more of your ideas for the APCD. These discussions can help us to identify appropriate and effective strategies to mitigate health care costs and promote transparency and wellness.
I encourage you to stay informed and engaged – so sign up for our email list, send us comments through our blog, follow us on Twitter, and, most importantly, spread the word about the all-payer claims database.
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
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