Day Six of Good News: Massachusetts

Today’s Managing Health Care Costs Indicator is 2%

If you watch the Republican Presidential debates, you’d guess that the health care system in Massachusetts was in utter disarray.   Mitt Romney at least intermittently runs away from what’s probably the signature effort of his one-term governorship, and Newt Gingrich and others rarely go a day without throwing mud and bombs.

Here in Massachusetts, things are… much better than you might think.
  • Our rate of uninsured is about 2% - the lowest in the nation
  • Our current rate of health care cost inflation is no longer the highest in the nation, although it’s still far too high
  • There has been a dramatic move toward contracts that include global payments, which will likely mean that providers will play an important role in modulating future health care cost increases
  • The Attorney General has published meaningful cost data that has been risk adjusted.
  • The state just renegotiated its Medicaid waiver, allowing continued funding for subsidies for health care coverage for the poor and near poor.

Massachusetts’ health care reform was clearly a model for the Affordable Care Act. It’s working well here –which augers well for the future of health care in the US.

I wish all a Happy New Year –and I’ll have some 2011 wrapup and health care innovations that could lower cost from my HSPH fall course “Managing Health Care Costs” over the next week.