I have many favorite authors and enjoy a wide variety of genres. Certain authors stand the test of time and Mark Twain is one of them. A line that has been attributed to him is, “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” (The line has also been attributed to Will Rogers.) There’s a lot of merit to this idea and this is exactly what the GIC has done with our Centered Care Initiative. We took a confluence of events – going out to bid for our health plan contracts and the implementation of state and federal health care reform – and decided to use the opportunity to change the market. We do not want to just bend the cost curve, but actually reverse it. This has been called radical by some naysayers.
How radical? We’re looking to have Primary Care Providers be the focal point of care. That means they coordinate care, know our members, and track test results and medications for their patients. Increased use of electronic medical records will improve communications and accuracy among providers and ensure high level care for the chronically ill. We are also negotiating for expanded provider hours so that members do not have to use the emergency room after work when they get sick. Disease management programs and assistance for transitioning from the hospital to other settings are other “radical” aspects of this initiative. In sum – our members should receive patient centered care under this initiative, care will be better coordinated with costs that are kept in check.
While “climbing trees,” we’ve been implementing other aspects of federal health care reform, adding almost 3,100 new municipal members, improving our non-health plan benefits, negotiating better contract terms, collecting revenue that aids the Commonwealth’s balance sheet, and rolling out a wellness program. To be sure our members and the wider health care community know what’s new with the GIC, we’ve expanded our social media presence and are in the process of expanding member access online, a major information technology undertaking.
As you read this report, we hope that you will conclude that the GIC is moving out beyond our comfort zone to make changes in the Massachusetts health care system that will benefit both our members and the taxpayers of our Commonwealth.
Very truly yours,
Dolores L. Mitchell
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .