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Newsroom - October 2019

Baker orders probe of health insurance market

Boston Herald, October 21, 2019
BOSTON - There were five "key themes" listed on the poster board next to Gov. Charlie Baker as he introduced a sweeping health care bill on Friday afternoon, including one that is also supported by an executive order the governor signed the same day. Read more »

Baker-Polito Administration announces health care legislation aimed at addressing key challenges, October 18, 2019
BOSTON - The Baker-Polito Administration today introduced comprehensive health care legislation to improve outcomes for patients, increase access to care and bring down costs. The reforms will promote access to behavioral health and primary care services and cut down the hidden costs that currently blindside consumers and impact the overall system. The legislation also holds drug companies accountable for excessive prices and unjustified price increases, and supports distressed community hospitals and community health centers. Read more »

Charlie Baker introduces legislation aimed at overhauling Massachusetts' health care system

Boston Globe, October 18, 2019
BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker introduced legislation Friday aimed at overhauling Massachusetts' health care system by restricting how hospitals and doctors bill patients and requiring walk-in clinics to treat low-income patients on Medicaid. Read more »

Baker bill requires investments in addiction, behavioral health services

South Coast Today, October 18, 2019
BOSTON - Health care providers and insurers would be required to boost their spending on addiction services, behavioral health, primary care and geriatric services by 30 percent over the next three years under a sweeping health care bill that Gov. Charlie Baker filed Friday afternoon. Read more »

Baker's health care bill requires targeted spending on services

Berkshire Eagle, October 18, 2019
BOSTON - Health care providers and insurers would be required to boost their spending on addiction services, behavioral health, primary care and geriatric services by 30 percent over the next three years under a sweeping health care bill that Gov. Charlie Baker filed Friday afternoon. Read more »

Charlestown MGH hosts mock-up of safe injection site

WCVB News, October 18, 2019
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) - As the debate continues across Massachusetts over the establishment of safe injection sites, one activist group decided to raise awareness by creating a model of a site. The mock-up site was set up by SIF MA NOW! at the Massachusetts General Hospital Charlestown Health Center to give people an example of what a safe injection facility, or SIF, would look like in Massachusetts. Read more »

Fewer immigrants enrolling in Medicaid, utilizing Community Health Centers amid change to Public Charge rule

American Journal of Managed Care, October 18, 2019
As the Trump administration has implemented a range of policy changes focused on enhancing immigration enforcement, health centers have seen a drop in utilization by immigrant patients, a decrease in immigrant patients enrolling in Medicaid, and other impacts on enrollment and utilization of care, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) issue brief. Read more »

AG Maura Healey: Common ways of controlling health care costs are ineffective, October 18, 2019
BOSTON - Spending on inpatient visits continues to rise at high-cost hospitals, even as it falls at lower-cost hospitals, according to a report released Thursday by Attorney General Maura Healey. And methods often touted as cost-saving measures - enhancing consumer transparency and moving patients to health plans that pay for positive outcomes - are ineffective. Read more »

Mass. General Hospital Saves NEW Health Pharmacy, October 18, 2019
Massachusetts General Hospital has stepped in to help save the in-house pharmacy at North End Waterfront Health. The move came after CVS Pharmacy, which had previously managed the pharmacy at New Health, notified the health center that it would not continue the partnership between the two organizations, due to what CVS Pharmacy claimed was low prescription volume. Read more »

Outer Cape Health Services announces three new medical providers

Cape Cod Today, October 17, 2019
Outer Cape Health Services (OCHS) continues to expand its medical provider team with the recent hiring of Dr. Brian S. Koll in Provincetown, and Dr. Laura Anthony and Family Nurse Practitioner Kimberly A. Irvine in Harwich Port. Read more »

Panel discussion weighs potential of safe injection sites

NECN, October 17, 2019
The public discussed the possibility of safe injection sites Thursday at a meeting in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood. The room was packed at the Massachusetts General Hospital Charlestown Health Center for a panel to discuss facilities where users can inject drugs under medical supervision. Read more »

The angel on Methadone Mile

Boston Globe, October 15, 2019
Under the Boston Medical Center passageway every Sunday night, a group of cars pulls up, hazard lights blinking. "As" by Stevie Wonder is playing from someone's speakers. Just as hate knows love's the cure - You can rest your mind assure - That I'll be loving you always Read more »

Economists who study poverty win Nobel Prize

U.S. News & World Report, October 14, 2019
STOCKHOLM (AP) - Two researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a third from Harvard University won the 2019 Nobel Prize in economics on Monday for groundbreaking research into what works and what doesn't in the fight to reduce global poverty. Read more »

An innovative program that helps civilly committed kick drugs

Boston Globe, October 14, 2019
Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi didn't go into law enforcement to help people addicted to drugs. But setting those with substance use disorder on a path to recovery has become one of his life's passions. Read more »

Mock safe injection site to give people look at how they may work in Bay State (features MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center)

Boston Fox 25, October 13, 2019
CHARLESTOWN, Mass. - It's the opportunity to see what a safe injection site might look like here in Massachusetts. This week, Charlestown MGH Health Center is creating a mock supervised safe injection facility to give people a firsthand look of what they might look like here in the Bay State. Read more »

Mercy Medical Center says it may be 'forced out' of Cigna network by Tuesday, October 13, 2019
SPRINGFIELD - Mercy Medical Center warned that current reimbursement rates from Cigna insurance run the risk of “pushing Mercy out of network" by Tuesday. The warning came in an ad in The Sunday Republican in which Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer at Mercy, said hospital leaders and Cigna "have been in negotiations for months over the rates that Mercy receives for the care provided to Cigna’s commercial insurance members." Read more »

Using mindfulness as a tool to help fight the opioid crisis

EurekAlert!, October 11, 2019
BOSTON - Boston Medical Center (BMC) was awarded a multi-million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to improve function for chronic lower back pain (cLBP) using a non-pharmacologic approach. One of the most common conditions treated in primary care is cLBP, yet treatment remains unsatisfactory for many patients. Read more »

BMC chosen for national demonstration to advance care models for people with complex needs

EurekAlert!, October 11, 2019
Boston - The Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family at Boston Medical Center has been chosen to participate in Advancing Integrated Models - AIM, a multi-site demonstration promoting innovative, person-centered strategies to improve care for adults and children with complex health and social needs. Made possible with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), AIM will assist health system and provider organizations in designing and piloting new approaches to integrate care for people with complex needs with a focus on improving health outcomes and fostering health equity. Read more »

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation Awards $1.5 million in grants to improve access to health care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, October 10, 2019
BOSTON (Oct. 10, 2019) – The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation has awarded nearly $1.5 million in grants to 28 community organizations to support initiatives for promoting accessible health care and coverage for vulnerable and low-income residents across the Commonwealth. Read more »

NEW Health names Jason Aluia to Health Center Board

Patch, October 10, 2019
Mr. Aluia is a lifelong resident of the North End and has served as an active board member to the health center for the last four years. Read more »

Massachusetts hospital to close ED in November, shut down in 2020

Beckers Hospital Review, October 9, 2019
Union Hospital in Lynn, Mass., will close its emergency department in November and open an urgent care center in the space. The hospital will close in 2020. Boston-based Partners HealthCare, Union Hospital's parent company, announced in 2015 that it would close the hospital and consolidate some services in the area. Union Hospital's ED will close Nov. 3, the same day a new ED will open roughly five miles away at Salem (Mass.) Hospital. Both hospitals are part of Partners' North Shore Medical Center. Read more »

Mass. meets goal to curb Health care spending, but insurance premiums continue to rise

WBUR, October 8, 2019
Every year, Massachusetts sets a target ceiling for how much health care spending should grow. The target is supposed to keep costs down, and while the state just barely scraped under last year’s requirement, some prices have increased at a greater rate, according to a new report from the state Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA). Read more »

Massachusetts residents paying more out of pocket for health care, report finds, October 8, 2019

EBNHC honors Board Chair Rita Sorrento

Eastie Times, October 4, 2019
The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) last week honored its longtime Board Chair Rita Sorrento by dedicating its new Neighborhood PACE facility in Revere in her name. Read more »

Harvard Street Health Center to mark 50th year with gala on Friday night

Dorchester Reporter, October 2, 2019
As Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center celebrates its 50th anniversary with a gala event on Friday evening, it will herald a half century of providing care to residents along the Blue Hill Avenue corridor and impacting thousands of lives. Residents of the neighborhood rely on the health center for everything from dental appointments to flu shots. But perhaps no resident has felt the center's impact as personally as Chef Lee. Read more »

Boston Mayor releases plan to tackle food insecurity by 2030

Patch, October 2, 2019
BOSTON - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the release of his Food Access Agenda to assess existing food access initiatives and deliver actionable recommendations to fill gaps. The Agenda will guide the City's work to ensure everyone has equitable access to affordable, fresh, healthy, and culturally-connected foods and end food insecurity in Boston by 2030. Read more »