Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will kick off the National Academy for State Health Policy’s 33rd annual conference with a keynote address at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Monday, Aug. 14, 2020. The conference, originally scheduled for Boston, will be delivered on-line.
Massachusetts has long been a national health reform leader and Gov. Baker has played a key role in many advances since his election in 2015. Previously, he served 10 years as CEO of the non-profit Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, which the National Committee for Quality Assurance repeatedly ranked as the nation’s top-ranked health plan during his tenure. Earlier, Gov. Baker held key positions in Massachusetts state government as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Secretary of Administration and Finance.
Gov. Baker is leading Massachusetts through the COVID-19 pandemic and has prioritized testing and contact tracing programs. His administration implemented reforms at the state’s health exchange, the Massachusetts Health Connector. Massachusetts currently leads the nation in health insurance coverage with only 3 percent of its population uninsured.
Last year, Gov. Baker introduced An Act to Improve Health Care by Investing in VALUE, designed to deliver more cost effective, nimble, and patient-centric health care for the 21st century. A cornerstone of the comprehensive plan is a significant investment in primary care and behavioral health, while maintaining the state’s cost growth targets administered by the state’s Health Policy Commission. That first-in-the-nation, cost-growth benchmarking system has reported success in bending the health care cost trajectory and other states are now replicating it.
Baker’s newest proposal for the plan would add enforcement provisions that require health care providers who exceed the target to pay fines. The proposal, which the state Legislature is currently deliberating, also includes provisions to lower pharmaceutical costs, including subjecting manufacturers who raise drug prices excessively to fines and redirecting those revenues to support community hospitals and safety net providers.
Register for NASHP’s annual conference, State Health Policy: Flexibility and Resiliency through COVID-19 and Beyond, on Aug. 17-19, 2020.