Hearing Kicks-off Public Comment Period on Payment Reform

A packed hearing in the State House’s Gardner Auditorium on Monday kick-started the conversation on what is likely to be the biggest change in the Massachusetts health care delivery system since the state passed universal coverage in 2006.

The Governor’s payment reform legislation would move the system of paying for all health care in the state from a fee-for-service model to more of a global payment model, with accountable care organizations responsible for delivering quality care in a manner that slows the growth of spending.

Much of the testimony and discussion is centering on how prescriptive the legislation will be in terms of mandatory versus voluntary participation, and the composition and authority of various oversight boards and advisory committees. Rey Spadoni, President & CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston and James Fuccione of the Home Care Alliance presented testimony regarding the need to recognize the importance of including the full continuum of care in any ACO model and central role that home care can play in a system that becomes more patient-centered, more cost conscious and accountable.

The Alliance, in particular, has asked in its testimony that the legislation be amended to require at least one home health/post-acute provider to be included on every ACO’s governing body.  The VNAB testimony asked that the new model recognize home health’s “investments in technology, clinical centers of excellence that serve patients with chronic disease, staff training and the addition of support services designed to keep people at home and independent or achieving the highest quality of life levels possible for them.”

The Home Care Alliance strongly encourages every interested agency to submit written testimony, which can be sent to the Alliance to collect and forward on to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, or to show up at public hearings being held across the state at the dates below:

  • Monday, May 23 at 11:00 a.m. at UMASS Medical School, Worcester (55 Lake Avenue North, 6th Floor of the medical school, Amphitheatre 3)
  • Monday, June 6 at 11:00 a.m. at Salem State University, Salem (71B Loring Avenue, Central Campus, Marsh 210)

The Alliance needs members to offering verbal or written comments if we are to be successful in carving an explicit role for home care into the ACO model.

The Home Care Alliance previously released a position paper on ACO’s prior to the Governor’s legislation that can be used to guide comments.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

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