Alliance Gets a Word in on Health Care Payment Reform

A stuffy hearing room in the State House played host to a packed crowd of people interested in offering comments, and witnessing the comments of others, regarding the recommendations of the Health Care Payment Reform Commission.

Click here to see more information on the Payment Reform Commission, including their recommendations.

On behalf of the Alliance, Board Member, Co-Chair of the Alliance’s Legislative Committee, and President of the Brockton VNA Beverly Pavasaris gave a great presentation of testimony to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. Click here to view the Alliance’s testimony.

As Pavasaris explained in her comments:

A well-designed ACO model focused on cost and outcome could provide a chance for home health services to truly demonstrate our value. On the other hand, if the system is not open to home health’s participation as a partner, then I fear that many home health agencies serving the most vulnerable populations in every city and town could be left out and their centuries of successful public health and chronic care management experience lost.   It is interesting to note that although the daily home healthcare census in any local community is often greater than the number of hospitalized patients, home care received no mention in the Commission’s report, except perhaps in two or three references to “ancillary providers.”

Leading off the speakers were Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby and, on her last day on the job, Secretary of Administration & Finance Leslie Kirwan. They spoke of how Massachusetts can do better by providing more coordinated care and, although the state ranks near the top in issues of access, it is into the bottom half of states when it comes to cost and efficiency.

Secretary Bigby mentioned that the state can’t just create “another code,” but has to pay for a better system.

Other speakers included Massachusetts Inspector General Greg Sullivan and panels of testifiers from Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Hospital Association, Health Care for All, AARP, 1199 SEIU, and Cambridge Health Alliance.

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