Partners Healthcare, competition, regulation, and the redeeming virtues of robust quality and cost data

The Boston Globe Spotlight Team had another installment of its Partners Healthcare saga in Sunday's paper.  The general gist: Partners horning in on community hospitals in their home commmunities, Jack Connors (board chair at Partners) extolling the virtues of the free market (with some less-than-kind words for the competition), community hospital execs and other partisans […]

Jacob Hacker makes the case for public plan choice in national health reform

Jacob Hacker, at UC Berkeley, who has previously laid out the Medicare-for-all (plus some employer-based insurance) concepts that have been at the core of several Democratic presidential candidates' health reform plans (including the President-elect's), released a paper today demonstrating the value of a government plan such as Medicare as one option among a menu of […]

HIPAA faces the music: New OCR Guidance on the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the Electronic Exchange of Health Information

HIPAA guidance for the world that followed HIPAA (finally): HIEs, PHRs, etc., and how they may be brought under the big tent of HIPAA. OCR release from late yesterday: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published new HIPAA Privacy Rule guidance as part of the Department’s Privacy […]

Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council: Quality and cost transparency or veils?

One of the much-ballyhooed (and predictably delayed and diluted) innovations of the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform and universal access law is the development of an online resource providing cost and quality data in a consumer-friendly format.  MyHealthCareOptions debuted last week (see HCQCC press release).  After taking it for a spin, I must express my […]