Some More Good Ideas In The House Payment Reform Amendment Pile

The House begins its debate on H. 4127, its revised payment reform proposal, on Tuesday afternoon. The Reps will go through the 275 amendments filed on the bill (see them all here).

In our last post, we highlighted some amendments filed with the support of the Campaign For Better Care.

We’ve looked through the whole list, and singled some other important amendments we urge House members to support. There’s a lot of good ones in the pile, but here are some of them we picked out, in amendment number order:

  • #19 Prevention Strategy (Lewis): Sets up a broad Prevention Council, charged with developing a Massachusetts Prevention Strategy that will guide state and local prevention efforts.
  • #23 Inform Seniors of Cost-Effective Options (Markey): Directs MassHealth counselors to let seniors know about Senior Care Options (SCO) and Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which provided integrated, cost-effective care to eligible seniors in MassHealth.
  • #32 ACOs Offer Reproductive Health (Walz): Requires ACOs to have ability to provide reproductive and sexual health services, including comprehensive family planning.
  • #57, 58, 60, 61, 62 Improved Mental Health Care (Balser and Malia): These amendments strengthen and require transparency for utilization review and implement the federal mental health parity law at the state level.
  • #66 Pharmaceutical Cost Containment (Scibak): Sets up Pharmaceutical Cost Containment Commission to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for both public and private payers.
  • #82 and #99 HIV/AIDS Privacy Rights (Sciortino and Rushing, respectively): Allows patients to protect privacy rights of their HIV status, without compromising care.
  • #123, #208 Keep Health Funds for Health Care (Finn and Dykema): Establishes a segregated fund to receive new federal health care funding from ACA, and directs these funds to expand coverage and improve MassHealth reimbursements.
  • #127 ACO Role in Public Health (M. Walsh): Adds requirement that ACOs have ability to contract with municipal public health departments for preventative or wellness services in larger communities.
  • #138 Protect Adults with Disabilities (Khan): Protections for long term services  needs of adults with disabilities in the duals (Medicare/Medicaid) initiative.
  • #155 Help Unemployed Get Right Benefits (Jones): Directs Medicaid & Office of Unemployment Assistance to develop way to share information on unemployment and MSP to determine eligibility for subsidized insurance.
  • #217, 218, 220 Reduce Disparities (Sanchez, Rushing, and Smizik): Trio of amendments to establishes Office of Health Equity to coordinate activities to eliminate racial and ethnic health care disparities, set up community-based agency disparities reduction grant program, and collect patient data required to track disparities.
  • #267 Tax Sugary Soda for Health (Khan): Removes the sales tax exemption for sweetened soda, and directs funds to Prevention Trust.

Contact your Representative and urge him or her to support these, in addition to the earlier list of amendments.
-Brian Rosman

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