Pavasaris Testifies at Healthcare Cost Trends Hearing

The MA Health Policy Commission (HPC) held its 2014 Healthcare Cost Trends Hearing on October 6th and 7th. During the two-day event, representatives of major health systems, individual providers and insurers were called to present recommendations on the direction of cost and quality in the Massachusetts healthcare marketplace.

HCA Board Member Beverly Pavasaris of the Brockton VNA was on a panel looking at post-acute care, which the HPC has spotlighted in recent reports as more highly utilized in Massachusetts relative to the rest of the country. Pavasaris noted the heavy use of acute care services in the state in general and the fact that the high use of post-acute care is not necessarily a bad thing, as patients are receiving appropriate follow-up care when they leave the hospital setting.

Dr. Richard Lopez of Atrius Health, which is affiliated with VNA Care Network and the VNA of Boston, also spoke of the pressures on reforming post-acute care and the need to do so. The first thing Atrius looked at when their ACO was formed, he said, was post-acute care. A post on the Atrius blog goes deeper into the comments submitted by the organization and the responses of Dr. Lopez on the panel.

Each day of the annual hearing was led off by speakers like Governor Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and legislative leaders of health care committees. A major topic throughout the hearings from presenters, speakers and panels was saving costs in behavioral healthcare, which was unanimously labeled as overly complex with no consistent way to report spending and a severe lack of financial and infrastructural support.

The Home Care Alliance will continue to work with the HPC on elevating home care and promoting our quality, cost-efficiency, and array of possible services that can be provided.

For more on the 2014 Cost Trends Hearing, see the HPC webpage.

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