State Holds Health Payment Reform Info Session

Health care advocates and stakeholders packed and overflowed a large conference room meant to host an information session on the implementation progress of the new health care payment reform law.

Governor Patrick walked in mid-session and summed up the intent of the meeting where every state agency and department mentioned in the law was present to speak on their respective piece. The Governor explained that it took a lot of work to pass what he termed ‘a good bill’, but added that ‘now the real work begins.’ He said that it will take work on the part of government, providers, and stakeholders to ensure that the law is implemented effectively and the way in which it was intended.

To that end, Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby reported that the 11-member board of the Health Policy Commission, the main group charged with developing the policy necessary to implement the law, will be convened by November 5. The work of putting together other task forces and commissions, including those where the Home Care Alliance has the authority to name a representative, has already begun.

One of HCA’s victories in the legislation was the ability to name members on the Behavioral Health Task Force and the Commission to Review Public Payer Reimbursement Rates.

Other state agencies and their responsibilities are being reconfigured, including the Division of Health Care Financing becoming the Center for Health Information and Analysis. That group will be an independent state agency and so-called “pricing activities” relative to rate setting will move under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

The Alliance will provide updates as they become available and the state has an implementation website with more information at

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