David Colby, VP, Research and Evaluation at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, offers his summer reading list on Massachusetts health care reform.  His intro:

Hopefully, many of you are relaxing this month at one of the nation’s real beaches. I’m spending most of August in the backyard, maybe with my feet in an inflatable pool.  While the closest I’ll get to Cape Cod is the potato chips I’m eating, Massachusetts is on my mind. I’m sure when President Obama arrives on Martha’s Vineyard later this month he’ll get plenty of advice from the locals on how Massachusetts managed to pass health reform and whether it’s working or not.

There’s a lot to be learned from Massachusetts – the first state to pass comprehensive health care reform and guarantee insurance coverage for all its residents. With that in mind, the following are a few select reports about what happened in Massachusetts (and how it happened… and why it happened … and what it means … that offer particularly salient lessons).

One key element I would add to this reading list involves a peek into the future of Massachusetts health care reform: the global payment initiative that has been greenlighted by the Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System established under part 2 of the Massachusetts health care reform law, which could result in wide-ranging payment reform in Massachusetts being phased in over a five-year period. 

Since bending the cost curve will be a key component of any successful health reform, this is another Massachusetts development to be sure to watch.

David Harlow
The Harlow Group LLC
Health Care Law and Consulting