The lessons of Massachusetts' healthcare reform

April 8, 2011

As lawmakers and health policy experts argue about the possible effects of the 2010 healthcare reform legislation, a new study of Massachusetts? experience contains findings of interest to primary care physicians.

 

As lawmakers and health policy experts argue about the possible effects of the 2010 healthcare reform legislation, a new study of Massachusetts’ experience contains findings of interest to primary care physicians.

In 2006, Massachusetts enacted comprehensive healthcare reform, which included provisions designed to bring about near-universal insurance coverage, including mandates. The current study, from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts Foundation, finds that even in a “particularly favorable policy environment for expanding coverage,” attaining coverage goals has been complicated and difficult.

Some findings of particular interest to primary care physicians:

  • There will always be uninsured and underinsured people who need care, so a safety net of providers to treat them is needed.

  • Without cost control, coverage expansion is unsustainable, so every effort should be made to hold down costs while expanding access to coverage and care.

  • Healthcare reform is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement from providers and other stakeholders, so results and impacts should be closely tracked and used to guide adjustments.

Read the report here: http://bluecrossfoundation.org/~/media/Files/Health%2520Reform/Lessons%2520for%2520National%2520Reform%2520from%2520the%2520Massachusetts%2520Experience%2520Lessons%2520Learned.pdf

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