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, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014