Stories about: Health Reform

Globe article highlights Children's efforts to reduce cost, improve quality

Sandra Fenwick, president and COO

With controlling health care costs high on the list of public policy priorities, Children’s Hospital Boston has been a leader in reducing costs in a way that continues to improve quality. A story in yesterday’s Boston Globe highlights some of our initiatives, including the fact that we voluntarily reduced our prices and rates to private insurers and to Medicaid-managed care programs by $90 million over the last year and a half. Importantly, the article also points out the fact that pediatric care is more expensive to deliver than adult care and that Children’s costs are closely aligned with those of other pediatric-only hospitals around the country; this is a message we’ve been trying to share in discussions with the government and payers in the last several years.

The initiatives described in the article—including working closely with insurers to reduce fees for high-volume appointments and tests, developing payment structures that reward quality and innovation, and an effort to have children with recurrent headaches seen in the most effective and cost-efficient setting—are only a few of the hundreds of projects underway across the hospital. This comprehensive, multi-pronged, data-driven continuous effort  to improve quality and reduce unnecessary resource utilization has driven much of our thinking and planning in the last several years, and will continue to do so for many years to come.

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My thoughts on federal health reform

MandellEarlier this week, we shared on our Thrive blog some comments about the new health reform legislation by Judy Palfrey, MD, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a long-time pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Reactions to the post were both positive and negative when it was shared on our Facebook page, with some people wondering why we would share our “political” views. First let me say that I think it’s important to distinguish views about political candidates and political parties from “policy” views about things that are good or bad for children and the providers who care for them. I also think it’s important to recognize and give voice to the incredible breadth of knowledge and expertise we have here at Children’s. Dr. Palfrey has spent her entire career working on child advocacy issues and is nationally recognized on the subject, and we’re fortunate to be able to share her knowledgeable voice on our blog.

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Applauding health reform for America's children

Dr. Palfrey speakins during the Doctors for America event
Dr. Palfrey speaking during the Doctors for America event

Judy Palfrey, MD, made the following comments today at the Doctors for America event in honor of the impending passage of the nation’s health reform bill.

Good afternoon. I am Dr. Judy Palfrey, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). I have practiced pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Boston for the past 35 years.

The AAP is a non-profit professional organization of 60,000 pediatric doctors who work tirelessly for children’s health and well-being. We are proud and honored to stand here today following last night’s historic vote on health reform!

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Globe article on the cost of care at Children's

MandellA Boston Globe article this morning brought the cost of care here at Children’s Hospital Boston into question, saying, among other things, that “Children’s charges the highest fees for both outpatient and inpatient care.” It’s based on data by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) that we don’t feel accurately reflects the care that we provide.

While the writer, Liz Kowalczyk, did say that because about 30 percent of our patients are on Medicaid, we have to “make up the lost revenue from private insurers,” I don’t think she went far enough in explaining why our costs tend to be higher than other hospitals in the state.

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