Access and Affordability: An Update on Health Reform in Massachusetts, Fall 2008

Source: Sharon K. Long, Ph.D., and Paul B. Masi, Health Affairs Web Exclusive, May 28, 2009

More than two years after implementation of its landmark health insurance reforms, Massachusetts had achieved historically high levels of coverage and widespread improvements in access to care, according to this study–the latest in a series of updates, funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, on implementation of the state’s reforms. The authors find, however, that constraints on provider capacity and rising health care costs–trends that predate reform–have eroded some of the gains. Massachusetts is now seeking ways to contain costs and expand provider capacity, including a proposal to shift from fee-for-service provider payments to global fees that emphasize care coordination and collaboration.

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