Monthly Archives: June 2007

Conference Budget Funds Outreach Grants; Fixes CMSP Premiums

The House and Senate budget conferees released their compromise budget proposal late Friday. Both branches will vote on the budget on Monday. We’re pleased and thankful that the budget continues full funding for health reform outreach and enrollment grants, at … Continue reading

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Seattle Stories IV: A Quality Milestone I Didn’t Know About

Only one other Bostonian out here besides me (though lots of Red Sox Nation-ites) – Dr. Tom Lee, head of the Partners Community Healthcare Inc. physicians network (called “peachy” – such a lovely name!). He told a good news story … Continue reading

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Seattle Stories III: How Much Inefficiency Is There in Medical Care – Really?

Heard a mind-blowing presentation by Robert Mechlenburg, MD, Chief of Medicine at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. This is a medical center that has bought hook, line and sinker the Toyota “lean production” model to improve quality and lower … Continue reading

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Seattle Stories II: Cheers for Starbucks

I heard a presentation by the Director of Benefits at Starbucks, Kelley Hardin. I knew that Starbucks was ahead of the curve, progressive-wise, on health benefits for its workers. I had no idea. Starbucks offers health coverage to all full … Continue reading

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Seattle Stories I: Aligning Forces for Quality

I’ve been out in Seattle most of this week attending a conference on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project called “Aligning Forces for Quality.” There are 14 US communities in the project (Boston is not among them – I’m one … Continue reading

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Gov. Patrick Pumps for Health Reform

Gov. Deval Patrick is putting his political weight and machine behind making health reform succeed. Just got this on my AOL email account: (posted by John McDonough) Dear Friends, Massachusetts is leading the nation with our bold effort to expand … Continue reading

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Special Needs Plans (SNPs) Under the Microscope

Our sister organization, Community Catalyst, has launched a Consumer Education Project on so-called “Special Needs Plans” or SNPs. They have just released their first report: Special Needs Plans (SNPs): Overpayment Debate Ignores Need for Reform to Achieve Original Program Goals. … Continue reading

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Bush Opposes SCHIP Expansion

Nine million uninsured kids. Large increase during his time in office. His popularity numbers at Nixonian levels. You might think our lameduck President would support more health coverage for kids. Not this guy. His SCHIP proposal would reduce the number … Continue reading

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Keeping an Eye on the Fiscal Solvency of MA Health Reform

When it comes to the financial stability of MA health reform, there are two balls that matter most. The first is the future Uncompensated Care Pool — to be known at the Health Safety Net Trust Fund beginning on October … Continue reading

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Things Are Cooking in California

We’ve been worried about health reform efforts in California — the Olympics of state health reform. Seemed like the Governator and the Legislature we’re moving further apart. Now the stage is being set for the high-stakes negotiations between both sides. … Continue reading

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