This week, Governor Patrick held a series of meetings with health care providers in Hyannis, Brockton and Jamaica Plain to discuss his recently-filed payment reform bill. Grateful to be a part of these candid conversations, HCFA thanked the Governor for filing his legislation and ensuring consumers have a seat at the table in these conversations.
The discussions covered a range of topics – from the need to improve communication between insurers and patients to how to increase the number of primary care physicians practicing in Massachusetts. But the most pronounced part of these meetings was the consensus among the diverse stakeholders that the status quo is unsustainable and meaningful cost and quality improvements must be made.
Patrick Administration officials stressed the importance of treating the entire patient and emphasized that more health care is not necessarily better health care. “We get what we pay for,” said EOHHS Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. “We pay for ICUs. We pay for hospital beds. But we have one of the most under-resourced hospice care system in the country. We have way too many families who say, ‘my father never wanted X, Y, Z and he died 3 weeks later in the ICU anyway.’ What we pay for doesn’t necessarily pay for what the communities want and need.” The Governor also pointed out the cost savings associated with coordinated care and talked about the importance of not getting lost in health care jargon. He told attendees that the health care community must discuss reforms in a way that is understandable to the average consumer.
In the coming weeks and months, patient voice and advocacy will be a critical part of the debate around payment reform. We encourage you to get involved and join our Campaign for Better Care to ensure these changes work for all consumers. Please email me at email@example.com to get involved.