Recent healthcare provider news you may have missed

Recent healthcare provider news you may have missed

From Christine Williamson, Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

Sweeping Changes to Massachusetts Healthcare Laws

Governor Baker’s healthcare proposal is ambitious and all-encompassing. The Boston Globe writes: “It takes the unusual step of requiring hospitals and insurers to increase their spending on primary care and behavioral health care by 30 percent over three years. In order to do this and meet existing requirements to control health spending, they will need to scale back in other areas — such as expensive hospital services.”

For more information, check out The Boston Globe

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States Prepare Health Insurance Contingency Plans

A federal appeals court decision that could strike down the Affordable Care Act could come as soon as this month! See how lawmakers in states including Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico and California are pursuing legislation to preserve some healthcare coverage if the ACA is overturned.

Read story in The Wall Street Journal to learn more about what’s at stake

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Is a Harsh Flu Season a Boom or a Bust for Providers?

A severe flu season can impact providers’ bottom lines in many ways. According to Healthcare Dive, large, publicly traded health systems can see a slight boost to margins despite the additional staffing needed to combat flu, but smaller and nonprofit organizations are more strained and have less ability to capitalize on increased visits. Read on to see the impact to community hospitals, telehealth companies, urgent care and skilled nursing facilities.

Get the full story at Healthcare Dive

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Health Insurers Tackle Social Determinants of Health

Jeffrey Brenner, a physician turned health insurance executive, aims to reduce healthcare expenses not by denying care, but by spending more on social interventions, starting with housing. But how to do it is still largely uncharted.

Dive deeper with Bloomberg

Recent healthcare provider news you may have missed

Recent healthcare provider news you may have missed

From Christine Williamson, Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

A New Way of Paying for Maternity Care

Doctors and insurers see bundled payments, or episodes of care, as a possible way to improve health outcomes and lower costs of maternity care, including driving down the number of unnecessary c-sections nationwide. But, as reporter Carmen Heredia Rodriguez points out, payment models like this are relatively new and their structure can differ by insurer. For models like this to succeed, supporters will need to show consistency, capture quality patient data and increase payer/provider collaboration.

For more information, check out NPR.org

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Hospitals Enter the Housing Business

Homelessness is one of the biggest social determinants of health, and now hospitals from Baltimore to St. Louis to Sacramento are taking action. According to Kaiser Health News, “With recent federal policy changes that encourage hospitals to allocate charity dollars for housing, many hospitals realize it’s cheaper to provide a month of housing than to keep patients for a single night.”

In addition to exploring innovative new programs like providing housing, more work must be done. This includes putting screening systems in place so that clinicians can ask important questions about food insecurity, housing instability, utility needs, transportation and interpersonal violence.

Dive deeper with Kaiser Health News

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Cartoons Help this Pediatrician Reach Young Patients

As seen in the Boston Globe: “Dr. John Maypole, a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center, creates whimsical drawings while caring for some of the most vulnerable children. He gets down on the floor and crawls under tables, if that’s what it takes — with pen and paper in hand — to distract and soothe scared youngsters.”

An amazing article from reporter Kay Lazar that shows the human side of healthcare and people who are making a difference! Exactly the type of story we like to tell at Greenough.

Get the full story at The Boston Globe

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Mass. Hospitals Face Strict Surgery Regulations

New regulations, which medical experts describe as among the most far-reaching in the country, require that doctors provide more information to patients who are considering surgery and document each time a lead surgeon enters and leaves the operating room. The regulations also take a hard line on doctors who come to work impaired by alcohol or drugs and who delegate duties to unlicensed practitioners.

Read story in The Boston Globe to learn more about what’s at stake: 

Recent provider articles you may have missed

Recent provider articles you may have missed

From Christine Williamson, Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers



States Scramble as Senior-care Costs Rise


As the rising cost of long-term care continues to strain family finances and Medicaid budgets, at least a dozen states are crafting policies to help millions of disabled seniors afford personal care assistance.

Eleven states, including New York, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, are working on far-reaching plans to meet long-term care needs. But nearly six years after the Obama administration had difficulty enacting long-term care legislation, it’s basically fallen off the radar of national policy makers.

For more information about efforts and challenges at the state level, check out the Boston Globe


Health Insurance Numbers Decline

The New York Times writes: “About 27.5 million people, or 8.5 percent of the population, lacked health insurance for all of 2018, up from 7.9 percent the year before, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. It was the first increase since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, and experts said it was at least partly the result of the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine that law.”

It will be interesting to see how these numbers change in accordance with unemployment data and as new healthcare policies are enacted post-election.

Dive deeper into the data with The New York Times



Groupons for Healthcare

Groupon and other online entities are now offering deals for a variety of medical and dental services. And as NPR points out, “the use of Groupon and other pricing tools is symptomatic of a health care market where patients desperately want a deal — or at least tools that better nail down their costs before they get care.”

As the consumerization of healthcare continues, frustration over high prices and lack of transparency will only accelerating the movement. It will be interesting to see how other consumer brands and eCommerce companies further disrupt the industry.

Get the full story at NPR.org


Nursing Homes Face Value-based Pay Switch

In October, assisted living facilities will see their Medicare reimbursements shift, and millions of dollars in payments are at stake. The change to a value-based payment system is a significant test for fee-for-service Medicare as it moves to payment models that reward cost efficiency and improved patient outcomes rather than just the amount of care provided.

Read more about what’s at stake in Bloomberg Law

Recent provider articles you may have missed

Recent provider articles you may have missed

Recent articles you may have missed

From Christine Williamson, Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers


Promising new results as value-based care movement accelerates

A new study from researchers at Harvard Medical School found that a payment plan rewarding doctors who curb costs is linked to smaller increases in health care spending and better-quality care. The new reimbursement structure from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts gives doctors a fixed amount of money per patient. When doctors stay on budget and improve patient care, they can earn bonuses. If not, they can be penalized.

Alternative payment models like this are showing promise and deserve to be adopted more broadly. By rethinking reimbursement, providers and payers together can debunk the myth that controlling costs will negatively impact care quality.

Read about the survey findings in The Boston Globe


The biggest source of surprise medical bills: Ambulances

Five states have passed laws this year to restrict surprise billing in hospitals and doctor’s offices. Federal laws are also in the works. But as Sarah Kliff and Margot Sanger-Katz of the New York Times write, “Ordinary ambulances that travel on roads have been left out of every bill.” This is especially concerning given that new research from the University of Missouri-Kansas City found that 51 percent of ground ambulance rides will result in an out-of-network bill. By contrast, only 19 percent of emergency room visits have the same result.

Read the full New York Times story


Nurses tutoring doctors

As measles cases reach the highest levels in decades, public health officials in New York and across the country are increasingly relying more on nurses and community groups to teach doctors how to respond respectfully and effectively to parents’ vaccination concerns. Advocacy groups have always played an integral role in an effective communications strategy. We’re glad to see health officials are finally utilizing this important channel to clear up misconceptions surrounding vaccine safety.

Read more in the Washington Post story


Removing regulatory barriers

Access to care is one of the biggest problems in healthcare. To get doctors in the field and caring for patients faster, Massachusetts regulators are taking steps to reduce the nearly year-long wait physicians face before they are cleared to practice medicine. According to the state’s Health Policy Commission, certifications, credentialing and reimbursement issues with insurers are creating administrative burdens and unnecessary costs. It’s time to remove those barriers.

Get the full story in Boston Business Journal