Tag Archives: affordability

The Economics of Cardiovascular Disease

When it comes to preventive medicine, keeping patients healthy and ensuring that care is affordable go hand in hand. At Partners HealthCare we’re always looking for ways to improve the health of our communities, especially through education and prevention.

One area of growing concern is heart health: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. February is American Heart Month, and Dr. Michael R. Jaff, DO, chair of the MGH Institute for Heart, Vascular and Stroke Care, recently addressed the rising cost of treatment for cardiovascular disease. The following Q&A is reprinted from the February 1st issue of MGH Hotline.


Tags: affordability, uniform high quality

New York Times: Health Care Costs Experience ‘Sharp’ Slowdown in Growth

As President Obama noted in his State of the Union Address, “the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs.” This is borne out in a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The New York Times reports that the CBO shows the nation is experiencing a prolonged and persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs. In fact, between 2009 and 2011, total health spending grew at the slowest pace since the government started keeping records more than 50 years ago. Recent data suggests that the encouraging trend continued in 2012.

What is behind the slowdown in health care costs? While there is no single answer, experts point to the structural changes that the health care industry has undergone. CBO chief Douglas W. Elmendorf attributes a ‘significant’ part of the cost slowdown to this type of change and reorganization.

At Partners HealthCare we are leading the way forward on change.


Tags: affordability, industry interactions

Partnering With Health Centers to Transform Patient Care

At the Brockton event (l to r): Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, Partners President and CEO; Sue Joss, Executive Director, Brockton Neighborhood Health Center; James W. Hunt, Jr., President and CEO, MA League of Community Health Centers; Linda M. Balzotti, Mayor of Brockton; Matt Fishman, VP Community Health, Partners; Deborah C. Enos, President and CEO, NHP; Dr. Lauren Smith, Interim Commissioner, MA Department of Public Health.

Health care in Massachusetts is in the midst of rapid and sweeping change as we identify new and innovative ways to improve patient care while making that care affordable and accessible. It is a time in which providers and insurers are expected to think differently about coordination by developing improved methods to deliver care to patients. When Neighborhood Health Plan formally joined the Partners HealthCare family, we launched a new initiative aimed at aiding and supporting exactly this type of positive transformation.

In October, we announced that we’d be providing up to $90 million in grants to community health centers (CHCs) over the next 15 years through our newly created Partnership for Community Health. This week in separate events in Brockton and Lawrence, we joined with community health center leaders, state officials and clinical staff to report that the first round of grants will help each and every health center in the state to improve care in their communities.

In total, $4.25 million will benefit 49 community health centers spanning the entire state, from Boston to Holyoke.


Tags: affordability, community

Bending the Cost Curve Through Sustainability

As the Chair of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, I have the opportunity to see and learn about some of the most innovative approaches to ‘green’ health care in the nation. Last week The Commonwealth Fund released an extraordinary study, “Can Sustainable Hospitals Help Bend the Health Care Cost Curve?”

The answer is a resounding “Yes.”

The study is the first systematic, data-driven analysis of the economic, environmental and health benefits that accrue from implementing a set of initiatives aimed at reducing health care’s large environmental footprint. Eighteen hospitals from different regions of the country, including both Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), participated in the study and reported results in one or more categories.


Tags: affordability, coordinated care, industry interactions

Partners HealthCare Announces New Agreement with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

At Partners HealthCare we’re committed to improving care and making that care affordable to our patients and their families. Last week, we took another step forward by announcing that we’ve torn up our existing contract with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. The new contract is designed to slow the growth of health care costs for our patients by keeping rate increases in line with general inflation.


Tags: affordability, coordinated care, industry interactions

Announcing $90 Million in Grants for Community Health Centers

This is a special day for Partners HealthCare for two reasons. First, our partnership with Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) officially begins, and today we announced a new program to provide grants to community health centers (CHCs) across the state.

The Partnership for Community Health is a joint initiative between Partners HealthCare, NHP and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (the League). Through it, we’ll be providing up to $90 million in grants to community health centers over the next 15 years. This initiative will provide community health centers and their patients with access to a long-term, sustainable resource as they continue to innovate and lead the way in the new health care environment.


Tags: affordability, community, industry interactions

Partners Welcomes Neighborhood Health Plan

Last summer, you may remember that we announced our plans to affiliate with Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP). We are excited to report that the Department of Insurance has given their approval for this partnership, and that the relationship will become official on October 1st.

By bringing NHP into the Partners HealthCare network, we will be able to better serve our patients by collaborating and sharing our relative expertise.


Tags: affordability, community, industry interactions

Massachusetts Meets Health Care Reform Challenges Head On With New Law

Today, Governor Patrick signed a new health care reform bill into law. The legislation, a joint effort by the House and Senate, is intended to control health care costs while ensuring that the health care provided to Massachusetts citizens remains second to none.

At Partners HealthCare, we support the underlying objectives of the new law and look forward to working with government leaders to manage health care costs without compromising the delivery of the very best care to our patients in their communities.


Tags: affordability, industry interactions

Better Care, Lower Costs: An Innovative Care Management Program Expands

At Partners HealthCare, we’re developing new ways to offer our patients the highest quality care in their own communities. From participating in the Pioneer ACO program to implementing Electronic Medical Records, we’re constantly striving to make health care more accessible and more affordable. One such initiative is the Nurse Case Manager program. Below, Eileen Fagan, R.N., a Nurse Care Manager in the North Shore Physicians Group, shares her story.

As one of six nurse care managers currently embedded in North Shore Physicians Group practices across the North Shore, I will do whatever it takes to ensure that my patients get the care and services they need to improve not only their physical well-being, but also their overall quality of life.


Tags: affordability, community, coordinated care

A Checklist for Delivering High Value and Quality Care

This week, health care thought leaders and policy makers in Massachusetts are focused on the issue of health care costs. In fact, today I participated in a public forum at Bunker Hill Community College as part of the Patrick Administration’s annual health care cost trend hearings (read the testimony in its entirety here).

But Massachusetts isn’t the only place where health care costs are the subject of thoughtful debate and meaningful analysis. All across the country, amazing innovations are underway as some of the brightest minds come together to rethink health care delivery in an effort to provide patients more value.


Tags: affordability, coordinated care

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