Voices Across Partners Join Call for Health Care Reform
Many staff across Partners HealthCare are making their voices heard on Beacon Hill this fall as Gov. Mitt Romney and Massachusetts legislators move forward on a plan for comprehensive health care reform.
Hundreds of providers are lending their voice to Massachusetts Health Reform, a grassroots advocacy network launched this year by Partners and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. It's a network of frontline caregivers who are writing letters to their own legislators and participating in policy-shaping discussions at the State House where Gov. Romney, Senate President Robert Travaglini and House Speaker Sal DiMasi each have made health care reform a top priority.
“Health care in Massachusetts is at a crucial crossroads, and it's vitally important that our legislators hear all our voices as this pivotal discussion progresses,” said BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA.
Specifically, Massachusetts Health Reform advocates are urging lawmakers to enact legislation to expand coverage for the uninsured, manage costs and provide fair reimbursement to hospitals for Medicaid and uncompensated care. And since the health care industry accounts for 450,000 jobs in the Bay State, lawmakers may listen more carefully to health care professionals who traditionally shy away from political activism.
The issues facing health care are complex. More than 500,000 adults in Massachusetts do not have health insurance, and people without health insurance avoid routine check ups and preventive care. These individuals are more likely to be hospitalized with avoidable complications from diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses. Massachusetts hospitals are facing a $500 million gap from the free care pool and low Medicaid reimbursement rates, and that gap prevents hospitals from investing in research, new technology and efficient management tools aimed at reducing costs.
“Who gets coverage, what services are covered, and how much it costs is one test of success and failure. But managing health care costs and providing fair reimbursement to health care providers are equally important if we want to keep our health care system stable and strong for the future and provide real, lasting reform,” said James J. Mongan, MD, president and CEO of Partners.
BWH and Partners continue to encourage staff to share their experience on the front lines of health care by writing letters to lawmakers, meeting with legislators, participating in community forums or hosting health care discussions with neighbors and legislators. To become part of the advocacy network or for additional information on issues surrounding coverage, cost management and reimbursement, visit www.massachusettshealthreform.org/joinUs.aspx