Government & Policy

| Posted On May 15, 2017 | By:

Can You Afford Healthcare in Retirement?

Many people have a common misconception that, since they paid social security taxes during their working years, their Medicare benefits are fully covered. As people begin to plan for retirement when their income is reduced and medical expenses may increase, they are disappointed to learn that Medicare is not free and in fact, it has premiums and deductibles and financial penalties for non-compliance with enrollment requirements.

They are also surprised to learn that:

  • Medicare was never intended to be a comprehensive insurance plan
  • Only 80% of allowable expenses are paid
  • There is no coverage when traveling out of the country
  • There are no hearing aid or eyewear benefits at a time when they are most needed

If you earn an income of $85,000 or less,

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| Posted On Feb 27, 2017 | By:

Atrius Health Joins Massachusetts Coalition for Coverage and Care

Atrius Health recently joined a growing list of health care providers, consumer groups, representatives from the business community, and others to form the Massachusetts Coalition for Coverage & Care in response to potential threats to the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Coalition was created by Health Care For All and is being co-hosted by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation which will provide research and technical assistance. The group was formed to ensure that state health reform measures (Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006) that provide universal coverage to Massachusetts residents is protected.

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| Posted On Jan 23, 2017 | By:

Atrius Health Testifies on Provider Price Variation

Dr. Steven Strongwater, Atrius Health President & CEO, testified last week at the Massachusetts State House before Senator James Welch and Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, who also chair the state’s Provider Price Variation Commission.  Atrius Health was among a number of groups testifying at last week’s hearing including representatives from the Massachusetts Medical Society, union and consumer groups, and community hospitals.  The Commission is slated to release its final report and recommendations on March 15th.

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| Posted On Jan 19, 2017 | By:

Atrius Health Joins CMS Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model

We are delighted to announce that our organization has been selected to participate in the 2017 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model – a transformative initiative sponsored by the CMS Innovation Center. As a Next Generation ACO, Atrius Health will work closely with CMS to provide its Medicare beneficiaries with higher-quality care at lower costs.

Today’s announcement was the culmination of a competitive selection process that began in March 2016 with the national release of a Request for Letters of Intent from CMS.

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| Posted On Nov 21, 2016 | By:

Atrius Health Participates in World Diabetes Day Event at the State House

Atrius Health was honored to be represented at last week’s World Diabetes Day Program at the State House during which Dr. Joe Kimura, Atrius Health CMO, was among the distinguished speakers who discussed the serious public health crisis and financial implications caused by diabetes.

Dr. Kimura joined a number of legislators including Sen. James Welch (Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing), Sen. Jason Lewis (Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health),

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| Posted On Aug 22, 2016 | By:

DPH Launches Much Improved Prescription Monitoring Program

Today the Department of Public Health (DPH) launched its updated prescription monitoring program (PMP) called “MassPAT” after a complete and long overhaul of the old system. DPH chose Appriss, a software vendor that currently runs PMPs in more than 25 states, to manage the new system.

There is little doubt that the previous prescription monitoring program in Massachusetts was underutilized by prescribers due in large part to the difficulty in registering for the system and the overall lack of functionality that often required multiple “clicks” to access data.

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| Posted On Aug 15, 2016 | By:

Legislation Passed This Session May Help Bring Back the Joy in the Practice of Medicine

Last week Governor Charlie Baker signed into law HB3895 “An Act Increasing Access to Immunizations” introduced by Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Boston) and Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston). The legislation was widely supported by a broad based group of health care providers, including Atrius Health, that advocated for passage of the bill during the legislative session.

The legislation amended current state law (MGL Chapter 94C) to allow certified medical assistants to administer immunizations under the direct supervision of a primary care provider.

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| Posted On Jul 21, 2016 | By:

VNA Care Participates in Meetings with Congressional Leaders on Hospice Issues

VNA Care was well represented at this week’s “Advocacy Intensive 2016” sponsored by the Hospice Action Network, as nearly 300 representatives from hospice agencies descended on Washington, DC to meet with members of their respective Congressional leaders and their staff on issues of importance to hospice.

Among those participating included included Daiva Braunfelds, Vice President of VNA Hospice & Palliative Care, Dr. James Baker, Medical Director of VNA Hospice & Palliative Care and Kathy Keough,

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| Posted On Jun 27, 2016 | By:

Atrius Health Joins Coalition Supporting Healthy Food Choices in Vending Machines on State Property

Atrius Health recently joined a statewide coalition including the American Heart and American Stroke Associations, the Massachusetts Health Council and the Massachusetts Public Health Association urging passage of House Bill 3988 “An Act Relative to Expanding Access to Healthy Food Choices in Vending Machines on State Property.”

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Kulik (D-Franklin), was reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and the Joint Committee on Public Health and is now before the House Ways &

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| Posted On May 26, 2016 | By:

Atrius Health Joins Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care

Atrius Health recently joined the newly formed Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care which launched its inaugural summit on May 12th. The coalition includes 58 health care groups organized by The Conversation Project, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Ariadne Labs. The goal of the Coalition is to improve the care and experience for those facing serious, potentially life-limiting illness and ensure that “health care for everyone in Massachusetts is in accordance with their goals,

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