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Charlie Baker's 'alter ego' to oversee state budget

Boston Globe, December 11, 2014
Kristen Lepore and Charlie Baker are two of a kind. Since their days working together in Governor Paul Cellucci’s administration, Lepore and Baker have bonded over their affinity for analyzing policy details and the finer points of state finances Read more »

Boston Medical Center, Tufts in merger talks

Boston Globe, December 11, 2014
Boston Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center are considering a merger, a deal that, if approved, would be the biggest union of Boston teaching hospitals in nearly two decades. A merger would link two nonprofit hospitals that both treat many low-income patients and have endured financial struggles. BMC, the state's largest "safety net" hospital, has an especially high number of patients on Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor. Tufts has tried to carve a place for itself in a city rich with world-renowned hospitals. Read more »

NECC Partners on $250K Health Training Grant (features Lowell CHC)

WHAV, December 11, 2014
Northern Essex Community College will partner on a $250,000 state grant to deliver a training plan that will improve the quality of patient care at a Lowell-based health facility by strengthening the skills of frontline community health workers and medical assistants. Read more »

BMC HealthNet cuts ties with Children's Hospital

Boston Globe, December 4, 2014
BMC HealthNet Plan said Thursday that it will end its contract with Boston Children’s Hospital on Jan. 1 because the struggling insurer can’t afford to pay the hospital’s high rates. The health plan, which serves people with low incomes, made the decision as it finished the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 with $43 million in losses. Read more »

Patients make their voices heard in drug approval process

Boston Globe, December 4, 2014
When federal regulators rejected Genzyme's experimental multiple sclerosis drug late last year, disappointed patients - who were counting on the powerful new medicine — quickly mobilized. They filed petitions with the Food and Drug Administration demanding patients be given permission to take the drug, called Lemtrada, so long as regulators and their doctors explained the risk of side effects. Read more »

Teaching kids what it means to be transgender

Boston Globe, December 4, 2014
"So, Shtine, what's the latest with the book? Any updates?" That was my cue. The answer to my sister Wendy's question would serve as the opening to a conversation with my nieces that had my stomach in knots. Calla and Ava knew their "Uncle Shtiny" had quit his job in advertising to write a book but were very curious what it was about. The question was, at ages 11 and 9, were they old enough to know? Read more » average premiums going up in 2015

Boston Globe, December 4, 2014
WASHINGTON - Many customers will face higher costs next year, the Obama administration acknowledged Thursday in a report that shows average premiums rising modestly. However, officials said millions of consumers who are currently enrolled can mitigate the financial consequences if they are willing to shop around for another plan in a marketplace that's becoming more competitive. Read more »

Maxwell Health raises $26.4 million in Series B funding

BetaBoston, December 4, 2014
Maxwell Health, a local startup that's trying to simplify the experience of navigating health benefit plans for employees and the companies they work for, announced a $26.4 million round of funding on Thursday, money that it says will use to expand its user base and develop new features in its current products. Read more »

Efforts to improve patient safety result in 1.3 million fewer patient harms

AHRQ, December 2, 2014
Interim update on 2013 annual hospital-acquired condition rate and estimates of cost savings and feaths averted from 2010 to 2013. Read more »