Category: Alan Sager

Harrington, Heywood hospitals join forces to manage contracts

August 20th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health, Worcester Telegram & Gazette 0 comments

asagerWorcester Telegram & Gazette
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

Two community hospital systems in Worcester County are teaming up to tackle health insurers’ demands to keep patients healthy…

Expert quote:

“I think we have to make it as easy as possible for every needed hospital to remain open.”

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Health policy agency critiques Partners deal

July 17th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerCommonwealth Magazine
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

The state’s Health Policy Commission raised concerns on Thursday about some aspects of Attorney General Martha Coakley’s proposed agreement with Partners Health Care on hospital acquisitions, but the agency did not urge Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders to either approve or disapprove the settlement…

Expert quote:

“You have negotiated and publicly trumpeted a set of apparent constraints on Partners’ behavior. But you offer no convincing evidence that these constraints on behavior are likely to be practical, effective, or even enforceable. Have they been tried elsewhere? Did they work? How often? Without this evidence, it is likely that the constraints you have negotiated will actually enable Partners to garner substantial revenue increases. Right now, the constraints look like feeble regulatory Lilliputians, unable to restrain Partners’ Gulliver.”

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Close Hospitals? Not So Fast.

July 17th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerBecker’s Hospital Review “The Daily Beat Blog”
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

blog post I wrote last week raised the question of whether closing hospitals and firing low-performing physicians could help healthcare in the long-run. The story was based on comments from thought leaders, including athenahealth CEO Jonathon Bush, Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, about America having too many hospital beds and the need for some to close and find a presence elsewhere in the healthcare spectrum…

Expert quote:

“So maybe the hospital closing policy has not been an effective remedy in attacking the real causes of high costs of hospital care.”

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Will the GOP’s ACA Attacks Hasten Single-Payer?

July 16th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerMedPage Today
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

As the Republicans in the House of Representatives continue their attacks on the Affordable Care Act, some observers are wondering whether this strategy will paradoxically speed the arrival of a single-payer system…

Expert quote:

“Two large arguments run in the opposite direction, though.”

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Hospitals, doctors moving out of poor city neighborhoods to more affluent areas

June 15th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerMilwaukee Journal Sentinel
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

Hospitals and family doctors, the mainstays of health care, are pulling out of poor city neighborhoods, where the sickest populations live…

Expert quote:

“In a competitive free market, efficient hospitals would be likelier to survive. That hasn’t happened, providing evidence that no such market is present.”

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In Milwaukee and U.S., hospitals follow money to suburbs

June 15th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

When Aurora Health Care proposed a hospital in Grafton, Maureen Slaby heard more than a few people in the community question why the $250 million facility was needed. After all, there were plenty of beds at the Columbia St. Mary’s hospital five miles away…

Expert quote:

“We do know that in areas where providers get high reimbursements, patients are vulnerable to overcare. And in areas where it’s Medicaid, or patients are uninsured, they are vulnerable to undercare.”

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Lahey’s cost-aware network growing north of Boston

June 1st, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Boston Globe, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerBoston Globe (subscription required)
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

The future of health care in Massachusetts isn’t taking shape just along Boston’s Longwood Avenue or on the banks of the Charles River…

Expert quote:

“As Lahey becomes bigger, as it includes more hospitals and in particular, if they go ahead and merge with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, will they then have the leverage of Partners, which will enable them to get Partners-level prices? The rhetoric of cost reduction may surpass the reality.”

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Gubernatorial candidates react to Coakley’s deal with Partners

May 21st, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Boston Globe, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerBoston Globe (subscription required)
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

Attorney General Martha Coakley made an important political decision this week: She will not go to war with the state’s largest health care company and its largest private employer while running for governor. Rather than filing a lawsuit to stop Partners HealthCare System from taking over South Shore Hospital, she opted to allow the merger while imposing a range of price controls and limits on the firm’s vaunted bargaining power…

Expert quote:

“There’s no political gumption anywhere in the state to take concrete actions that would slow cost increases.”

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Coakley-Partners deal

May 19th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerCommonWealth Magazine
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

Attorney General Martha Coakley approved a deal on Monday that allows Partners HealthCare to complete its acquisition of South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and two affiliated physician practices as long as it limits future price increases across its entire network to the rate of general inflation and agrees not to expand its hospital network for the next five to seven years…

Expert quote:

“It leaves us with business as usual in Massachusetts health care – that is, with a failure to advance toward a more competitive market, and a failure to take competent government action.”

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Partners HealthCare, state near wide-ranging deal

May 17th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Boston Globe, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerBoston Globe (subscription required)
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

Partners HealthCare System has reached a tentative agreement with state regulators that would allow it to complete a long-planned takeover of South Shore Hospital, but limit how much Partners can charge for medical services and prevent the state’s largest health care system from adding more hospitals and physicians’ groups for years, according to several people with knowledge of the deal…

Expert quote:

“This strikes me as more of a political deal than a health care deal. If we’re relying on competition to hold down health care costs, the more competitors the better. The harm to the public will accrue more slowly under this deal, but the harm will occur.”

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