Category: Alan Sager

In-network coverage at risk in St. Vincent, MetroWest dispute with Tufts Health Plan

December 15th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health, Worcester Telegram & Gazette 0 comments

asagerWorcester Telegram & Gazette
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

A contract dispute between Tufts Health Plan and two local hospitals spilled into the public domain Sunday, with both sides taking out newspaper advertisements to explain a situation that could result in thousands of subscribers losing in-network coverage…

Expert quote:

“We have the rhetoric of free-market competition, but not the reality.”

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Mayor, union reserve judgment on possible BMC-Tufts merger

December 12th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Boston Herald, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerBoston Herald
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and a key health workers union are taking a wait-and-see stance on the possible merger between Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center — which will be judged, they say, based on how well the teaching hospitals operate as a fused entity…

Expert quote:

“BMC and Tufts have both been around for a very long time and have served patients who, many of them, have chronic illnesses. And if either were to close, many, many patients would be displaced.”

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Here’s an argument as to why drugmakers lie about the reasons drug cost so much

November 11th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Boston Business Journal, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerBoston Business Journal
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

Drug prices are a touchy subject in Massachusetts. On one hand, as a pioneer in efforts to increase health care coverage for everyone, the state needs to rein in out-of-control drug costs. On the other hand, as the global hub of biotech research, our economy depends on those high prices to generate the revenue to keep investors pumping money into our hundreds of companies…

Expert quote:

“When drugmakers say they set prices to pay for development costs, that’s 108 percent untrue. Those arguments are just an attempt to justify or rationalize costs.”

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Partners chief met a trail of resistance

October 29th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Boston Globe, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

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

Speaking to investors early this year, Partners HealthCare chief executive Gary L. Gottlieb said his organization’s hospitals and doctors were creating a “new medical model” in a bid to “control our own destiny.”…

Expert quote:

“This may mark Partners’ peak in its ability to grow without justification. More and more people publicly question Partners’ ability to save money, lower its costs, and lower its prices.”

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Who Should Mourn for Long Island College Hospital?

October 20th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health 0 comments

asagerNY City Lens
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

The elderly, residents of a nearby low-income neighborhood and deli owners are bearing the greatest cost of losing a hospital in brownstone Brooklyn. But experts say the impact goes much further…

Expert quote:

“People might look at New York and say there are enough beds, but they are not in the right places. They are in Manhattan. You have so many people in Brooklyn but there are not as many beds.”

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Boston Heavyweights Weigh In On Partners Health Care Expansion

September 29th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health, WGBH 0 comments

asagerWGBH News
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

The state’s healthcare industry is waiting on a ruling on the agreement between the Attorney General and Partners HealthCare that would allow them to acquire Hallmark and South Shore hospitals…

Expert quote:

“There are no villains in this.  I think the original Partners maneuver to merge stemmed from fear, not greed.”

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Generic Drug Prices On The Rise

September 27th, 2014 in 2014, Alan Sager, Newsmakers, School of Public Health, WBZ-TV 0 comments

asagerWBZ
Alan Sager, School of Public Health

Generic drugs are the workhorses of health care. They are safe, effective, and affordable and they treat everything from migraines to life-threatening illnesses. But in the past few years, pharmacists and their patients have noticed a significant cost increase in some medicines…

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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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