Massachusetts health policy news: Patrick administration introduces payment reform legislation

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick released his new payment reform proposal, an expansion on the health care reform overhaul of 2006, on February 17, 2011. Nancy Turnbull, senior lecturer on health policy and associate dean for educational programs at HSPH, commented on the bill—which she calls “Health Reform 2.2”—for CommonHealth, a blog hosted by Boston NPR affiliate WBUR.

Although HR 2.2 “survived extensive testing within the Patrick administration,” Turnbull writes, “it’s too early to tell if any fatal bugs” will doom the bill. Among the improved features of the new system she identified are more aggressive standards for evaluating system effectiveness, the creation of a division of health planning and health planning council, and greater transparency. Still, she writes, HR 2.2 permits too much customization by users—a quality that introduces greater administrative cost and complexity—and faces “huge implementation issues” ahead.

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Nancy Turnbull comments on Massachusetts health care debate

HSPH Department of Health Policy and Management