Dec 6, 2010

Mass Medical Society: Protecting Physicians / Patients?

Here's a 3-minute clip from of Mass Medical Society President Alice Coombs, MD, discussing their position on payment reform in MA.  The Boston Herald  covered the topic today, which the CommonHealth Blog slightly corrected!

Is MMS doing enough to protect MA physicians?

Is MMS doing enough to protect patient care in MA?

Dec 2, 2010

Payment Reform: One Primary Care Physician's Response

The last post on the Boston Globe's coverage of payment reform generated a number of responses, but one seemed to capture the sentiments most accurately. With permission of the author, here it is for your consideration:
"You should know that if Massachusetts does try to balance the health care budget on the backs of the primary care physicians (which this ultimately amounts to), I, for one, will be out. I submit that many of my colleagues will do the same. 
Try to institute a similar payment system for attorneys, accountants, dentists and/or other similarly trained professionals and see what happens. Although the health care payment system certainly has socialist leanings, we're not quite at the point that they can mandate where I do business. 
Let the hospital executives, insurance executives, the office of HHS, professors of health policy, patient advocacy groups and anyone else that feels empowered to infringe upon my rights as a small business owner find someone else to use as slave labor or provide the patient care themselves."
-  A Massachusetts PCP

Dec 1, 2010

Will "Global Payments" Help or Hurt Patient Care?

The mid-term elections are over; the 2011 legislative session is on the doorstep; and the policy wonks and MA political junkies are salivating in anticipation of possible legislation on payment reform -- the final frontier in health care reform.

Countless hours have been spent in ballrooms discussing the nuances, implications and nitty-gritty of payment reform, and this week was no different.  The Boston Globe covered the most recent gathering -- the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum.  The article is worth the two-minutes to read to hear multiple opinions on the topic. More importantly, you should note that nearly every "stakeholder" is quoted including a hospital executive, an insurance executive, the office of HHS, a professor of health policy, and a patient advocacy group. 

Who's missing? ... a practicing physician ... again. This seems to be the theme of these efforts: Bring everyone into the discussion except those most critical cog in the entire system. Hopefully that will change soon.

Best Quote from the Article: "The autonomy of decision-making is going to be diminished on an individual level’’ and moved to teams." - Gary Gottlieb, MD; CEO, Partners HealthCare, Inc.

Response to Quote Question: Who will be responsible for making care decision with patients when health care is a "team" (aka committee) effort?

Poll: Will "global payments" compromise patient care?


Massachusetts State Seal

   ** SAVE THE DATE **

State's Health Care Quality and Cost Council
to hold Public Forum on Payment Reform

Members of the Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council (HCQCC) and its Committee on the Status of Payment Reform Legislation (the Committee) will host a public forum in Shrewsbury on Thursday, December 2nd.  Members of the public, including but not limited to, advocates, consumers, providers, employers, health plans and the press, are encouraged to attend.  
WHAT:   Public Forum on Health Care Payment System Delivery Reform  
Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council
Health care industry stakeholders
WHEN:Thursday, December 2, 2010
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
WHERE:UMASS Medical School -- Hoagland Pincus Conference Center
222 Maple Avenue
Shrewsbury, MA