Navigation Links
Public health's role in health care reform -- Lessons from Massachusetts

Philadelphia, Pa. (June 12, 2013) How will full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affect the work and goals of state and local public health departmentsand how can public health personnel contribute to the success of health care reform? The experience in Massachusetts has some important lessons, according to an article published online by the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. The journal is published by LWW is part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Just as Massachusetts was implementing its ground-breaking health care reform legislation, John Auerbach was appointed state Commissioner of Public Health. In a special 'Management Moment' article, he addresses some lessons learned"our victories as well as our mistakes"regarding the public health's role in the era of health care reform.

'Five Important Lessons' from the Massachusetts Experience

With the ongoing nationwide rollout of the ACA, public health activists and employees at the local, state, and national levels are asking what health care reform will mean for the work they do. In his article, Auerbachnow Distinguished Professor of Practice and Director of the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University, Bostonsummarizes five important lessons learned from the Massachusetts experience.

Getting a Seat at the TableAuerbach "learned the hard way" that public health personnel had to fight for a decision-making role in implementing health care reform. They needed a crash course in the basics of insurance, while building an appreciation for the "values, priorities, and incentives" of insurers. They also came to understand the need for hard data to demonstrate some of the "core assumptions" of public healthfor example, that smoking cessation programs would produce short-term reductions in health costs.

Taking a Critical Look at Public Health WorkRather than a "circle the wagons" mentality, Auerbach and colleagues learned they needed to make a "balanced, analytical assessment" of how health care reform would affect public health initiatives. Instead of reacting to program cuts, Auerbach now thinks his department would have been better off performing a comprehensive review of the likely impacts on various programs. "[C]hange was inevitable," he writes. "We were either going to be guiding change or reacting to it."

Defending Traditional Public Health, When AppropriateIn some cases, public health officials needed to make a stand in defense of traditional public health services. Auerbach cites the key example of childhood vaccination programsplanned cuts in state funding would have dealt a major setback to statewide success. It took months of negotiations with the legislature and insurers to come up with a "creative alternative" to across-the-board cuts.

Watching for Chances to ContributeBy "trial and error," Auerbach and colleagues identified a few important opportunities for public health to contribute to the success of health care reform. These included efforts to help reduce health care costs while documenting improved health outcomes. In hindsight, Auerbach believes this should have been a higher priorityperhaps coordinated by national public health organizations.

Envisioning a Better ModelOver time, the emphasis of health care reform in Massachusetts shifted from expanding access to controlling costs and improving the quality of health care. As they gained familiarity with the insurance industry, the public health community became "better prepared to conceptualize new models for linking population health with reimbursable clinical care." Auerbach outlines some programs included in the state's updated global payment model, developed with public health input.

While there's still a "very steep learning curve," Auerbach writes, "Health care reform is working in our state [with] continual involvement of public health officials and practitioners in the process." He hopes the lessons learned in Massachusetts will be of value as the ACA becomes implemented nationwideparticularly in ensuring that the essential public health mission continues to survive and thrive in a changing health care environment.


Contact: Connie Hughes
Wolters Kluwer Health

Related medicine news :

1. A Mom Fighting Breast Cancer Encourages The Public to “Put Kids First” and Join The Fight Against Childhood Cancer
2. Creighton University Welcomes New Faculty Member to Master of Public Health Program
3. U.S. Open Tennis Tickets: 2013 U.S. Open Tennis Championship Tickets Go Onsale to the General Public at 9:00 a.m. Local Time Monday, June 10th
4. U.S. Open Tennis Tickets: U.S. Open Tennis Championship Tickets Officially Go On Sale to the Public 6/10/13 - Cheap Concert Tickets has Reduced Entire U.S. Open Inventory
5. SafeToSleep Baby Monitor Wins National Parenting Publication Award
6. Public Health Accreditation Board Awards National Accreditation to Three Public Health Departments
7. South Bay Vascular Center and Vein Institute Educates Public About Sclerotherapy
8. The Eagles Tickets Key Arena in Seattle, WA: Cheap Concert Tickets Announces That The Eagles Tickets in Seattle WA at Key Arena Officially Go On Sale To the Public 6/3/13
9. Real Madrid vs. LA Galaxy Tickets: Real Madrid vs. LA Galaxy Tickets in Phoenix Glendale AZ Officially Go Onsale to the Public at 10:00 a.m. Local Time Friday, 5/31/13
10. Medtronic Infuse Lawsuit News: Parker Waichman LLP Alerts the Public to the June Release of Yale’s Infuse Bone Graft Study
11. Public Citizen, Demand Progress and Join Others Opposing U.S. Pharmacy Industry Group From Controlling “.Pharmacy” Domain Registration
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to Los ... people to overeat are not necessarily caused by real hunger, but instead by ... needs food. He notes that, while many patients are aware that weight loss surgery ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... A record crowd gathered at the ... organized by the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. , The institute, which is the research ... science and biotechnology leaders for the conference, which focused on ways companies can work ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... A novel class of antimicrobials ... effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the major drug-resistant bacterial ... small molecule analogs that target the functions of SecA, a central part of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... top choice for innovative, patient centered orthopedic care. Led by John Vitolo, ... your injury or chronic condition, the team at Advocare Orthopedic & Sports Medicine ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... specializes in general dentistry out of Glen Ridge, NJ. He has both ... to achieve optimal mastication. He is also an expert in cosmetic dentistry. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... the Detroit Free Press as a Top Workplace , ... to work for in 2015. ... 100 winners annually, based on employee surveys rating company leadership, ... Workplaces are based solely on employee feedback. The survey is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  IBA Molecular North America, ... distribution of radiopharmaceuticals, announced that as of January 1, ... (Zevacor Pharma). The decision to rebrand the company reflects ... as well as its close relationship with Zevacor Molecular.  ... Health and Science (IHS). Peter Burke ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Baxalta Incorporated (NYSE: ... dedicated to delivering transformative therapies to patients ... today announced the launch and first shipments ... extended circulating half-life recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) ... ADVATE [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant)]. The treatment was ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: