Yesterday I visited the Enterprise Center at Salem State College and met with Executive Director Christine Sullivan, North Shore Alliance for Economic Development President Bill Luster, and other small-business owners and leaders from the North Shore and Greater Boston to talk about health care costs, strategies to mitigate cost growth, and the impact of rising costs on economic growth.
More than 20 people sat around the table and shared very real stories of challenges and opportunities in dealing with the Massachusetts health care delivery system.
I heard from Ted Stux of New England Cranberry Co. in Lynn who has seen a 24 percent increase in family plan premiums, up from approximately $13,000 in 2009 to $16,000 in 2010. George Carey of Finz Restaurants in Dedham and Salem has been forced to increase the annual deductible from $500 to $2,000 due to a 27.8 percent increase in the insurance premium. Skyrocketing premiums are hurting Tony Klein of Thermal Circuits in Salem when competing in global markets.
The recurring message I heard is that we must take action and aggressively support measures for small business owners to provide affordable health care coverage so that they can grow their companies and grow the economy. If we do not invest in them, they cannot invest in us, and a full economic recovery will be more difficult to attain.
As such, the Division will continue to use the tools afforded to us by the Legislature, including the annual analysis of health care cost trends and the development of an all-payer claims database (APCD), to provide stakeholders with the data necessary to improve the health care delivery system and to enable employers and consumers to become more prudent purchasers of health care. Over the next several months, we will continue to meet with employers to better understand their needs and concerns, and partner with them to support transparency, integration, and wellness.
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