Secretary Bigby Addresses Alliance Annual Meeting

Massachusetts Secretary Judy Ann Bigby reviewed the Patrick Administration’s plans for reform of the health care delivery system in Massachusetts.  In her remarks, Secretary Bigby was clear that just as was the case with universal access, Massachusetts may well move before most other states or the federal government on issues such as global payment and integrated care organizations.  Secretary Bigby was clear that the building blocks for the ICOs – as she called then – would be primary care advanced medical home practices.  “I see a strong role for home based care in areas such as complex care management,” she said.  “Working out your role directly with doctors will be key.”

The state currently has out a Request for Information on the formation of ICOs/ACOs  – comments are due by July 13th.   At the meeting Secretary Bigby indicated an interest in ideas as to how the state policy makers  could support a role for high quality,  cost effective home care in redesigned systems. Among the ideas put forth at the meeting:  test episodic – rather than fee for service –  payment  for MassHealth home health care and do some modeling of what a home -based chronic care bundled payment would like.

Do you have ideas for Secretary Bigby – related to home care under health care reform?  Send them along for inclusion in either the Alliance’s ACO comments or in Annual Meeting follow-up with the Secretary.

Author: Pat Kelleher

Pat Kelleher is Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

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