Can #Massachusetts tame #health #spending with transparency and oversight?

Stuart Altman, the Brandeis University healthcare economist who has advised presidents from Nixon to Obama, talked to Health Leaders last week. He is now  the head of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, which tracks total health spending statewide.   HLM: How is Massachusetts trying to address high costs? Altman: First of all, it is the … Continue reading Can #Massachusetts tame #health #spending with transparency and oversight?

Are two big #hospital groups better than one? #consolidation

At Wednesday's meeting, the  Massachusetts Health Policy Commission heard a staff report on the proposed merger of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center  In summary, we find that these transactions are anticipated to increase market concentration, solidify BIDCO’s position as the second largest hospital network in the state, and could strengthen BIDCO’s ability to leverage higher … Continue reading Are two big #hospital groups better than one? #consolidation

The persistence of low-value services

Analysis from Health Leaders Media: Turns out, it's not so easy to make wise choices about healthcare. Several new studies find that, even with urging, doctors and patients are having a hard time passing on low-value services, including many identified in the Choosing Wisely campaign.   Not that it should be a surprise. You don't … Continue reading The persistence of low-value services

Lown Institute seek trainees’ stories of dangerous “medical overuse”

From Lown: The first author must be a trainee who is a professional student, intern, resident, fellow, masters or doctoral student, or post-doctoral student. More here  We are seeking clinical vignettes written by trainees that describe harm or near harm caused by medical overuse. In particular, we want to hear about medical interventions that are … Continue reading Lown Institute seek trainees’ stories of dangerous “medical overuse”

Health care in Massachusetts: Affordable or not?

Not affordable: From this week's paper Rising health care costs have outpaced the incomes of Massachusetts families over the past decade, despite efforts by the state to control medical expenses, according to a report released Wednesday. Affordable: Two weeks ago. Despite concerns about rising health care costs, the head of the state’s largest and most … Continue reading Health care in Massachusetts: Affordable or not?

Massachusetts thread in NYTimes story on drug price rekoning

The New York Times reports: As complaints grow about exorbitant drug prices, pharmaceutical companies are coming under pressure to disclose the development costs and profits of those medicines and the rationale for charging what they do. So-called pharmaceutical cost transparency bills have been introduced in at least six state legislatures in the last year, aiming … Continue reading Massachusetts thread in NYTimes story on drug price rekoning

Why won’t the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation comment on the high price of the new Vertex drug?

Robert Weisman of the Globe reports today: California scientist Paul M. Quinton learned that he has cystic fibrosis at age 19 and has spent his long career in his lab working on ways to cure it. He is, in short, not the kind of person you’d expect to be fighting with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., the … Continue reading Why won’t the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation comment on the high price of the new Vertex drug?