Dually Noted from around the web

February 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

Baker creates working group on opioid addiction
MA Governor Charlie Baker has announced the creation of a 16-member Working Group to address the states’ opioid and prescription drug abuse crisis. Comprised of government, law enforcement, and health leaders, the group will present the Baker administration with “specific, targeted and tangible recommendations to increase public awareness about these medications and reduce the rate of addiction” by May. Baker also called on Massachusetts health insurers to examine their opioid prescribing practices.

Medicare changes nursing home quality ratings
To help consumers make choices and encourage industry improvements, Medicare has changed its star ratings for nursing homes. As a result, the ratings of nearly a third of the nation’s nursing homes dropped. The changes come in the wake of criticism that “the ratings were inaccurate and artificially inflated.”

A more efficient, cost-effective MassHealth
In a letter to the Springfield Republican, the executive director of the personal assistance services company Stavros responds to MA governor Charlie Baker’s calls to review MassHealth. He says that advocates for the elderly and disabled “want a more efficient and cost effective system,” but “taking away services that are keeping people safe and healthy in their own homes … just shift care to far more expensive settings like emergency rooms and nursing homes.” A better approach, he says, is “a system that values coordination and better-educated consumers, and that rewards outcomes of independence and living in the community.”

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