Mass. Business Groups Differ On How To Control Costs
Meanwhile, news outlets look at a new approach on malpractice disputes in Mass., an expansion by the Baylor Health Care System in Texas and health care providers go beyond checklists in Conn.
Boston Globe: Health Cost Issue Divides Former Allies In Mass.
The state’s largest business groups, which came together to play a key role in passage of the 2006 law that expanded health insurance coverage, are now divided over how aggressively to slow the growth of health costs. Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a business trade group, has called for tighter controls on spending than the House or Senate has proposed. Its regular allies -- including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a research organization for employers -- warn against over-regulation (Conaboy, 5/29).
Boston Globe: Mass. Hospitals Urged To Apologize, Settle
The Brigham and CRICO, which insures Harvard-affiliated hospitals and doctors, have been early adopters of the "disclosure, apology, and offer" approach, which is the cornerstone of a new initiative to improve the state's cumbersome and costly malpractice system. A coalition of Massachusetts physician, hospital, and patient groups announced last month that they will use a $1 million grant to educate the industry about the practice, develop standards for implementing it, and collect data on how the approach works at seven hospitals before pushing for its adoption statewide (Kowalczyk, 5/27).
The Dallas Morning News: Baylor Health Care System Plunges Into Free-Standing ER Business
After sitting on the sideline as competitors established stand-alone emergency hospitals, Baylor Health Care System is now making a major move into that fast-growing medical business segment. Baylor, in a joint venture with The Woodlands-based Emerus, will have eight free-standing emergency hospitals up and running in North Texas by June of next year, chief operating officer Gary Brock said. More will follow, he added. Brock called the effort part of Baylor’s growth strategy into rapidly expanding communities (Jacobson, 5/29).
The CT Mirror: Checklists, Teamwork Minimizing Mistakes In Medicine
The use of checklists to ensure that the proper steps are taken before and after surgery has become commonplace, inspired in part by the use of similar methods in fields like aviation. But Dr. Alison Hong, interim vice president of quality and patient safety at the Connecticut Hospital Association, said researchers have found that even with checklists, preventable errors like leaving foreign objects in a patient or operating on the wrong body part were still happening. Now, she said, experts are increasingly focusing on going beyond the checklist itself, making sure the steps necessary for safety are being done "with intent" -- a harder-to-measure shift in operating room culture that emphasizes the patient, teamwork and minimizing interruptions (Levin Becker, 5/28).