On June 18 2008, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced its intention to stop paying for costs associated with 28 serious reportable events, as identified by the National Quality Forum (www.qualityforum.org). The Serious Reportable Events (SRE) Task Force focuses on ensuring that the implementation of this policy by the impacted state agencies (the Office of Medicaid [MassHealth]; the Health Safety Net; the Group Insurance Commission; the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority; and the Department of Correction) is done in a consistent, collaborative, and timely manner. The Task Force will work to ensure that these agencies:
- develop and implement operational guidelines and procedures that are consistent with the new policy, and
- implement written agreements with health plans and providers that stipulate payment consistent with the new policy.
In November 2008, MassHealth and the Health Safety Net incorporated the SRE non-payment policy in their hospital contracts. The Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is asking its health plans to implement SRE provisions. According to the GIC, most plans have implemented these guidelines, and all should have implemented the provisions by the end of 2009. The Department of Correction is in the process of having its health services organization (UMass Medical School) integrate the provisions into their hospital provider contracts. In addition, the Commonwealth Connector will implement the provisions in its contract renewal process, effective July 1, 2009.
The Department of Public Health developed SRE cost reimbursement regulations that complement the SRE Policy Guidelines. After consideration of comments submitted during the public comment period, the regulations were finalized in May 2009. The adopted regulations are part of broader Hospital Licensure legislation and are located at http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/regs/105cmr130.rtf .
In June 2009, five state agencies adopted uniform non-payment policies for costs associated with 28 serious reportable health care events. The state's Office of Medicaid, Health Safety Net, Commonwealth Connector, Group Insurance Commission and Department of Correction - which collectively insure or purchase care for more then 1.6 million people in Massachusetts - adopted a single set of guidelines to reduce preventable medical errors and advance patient safety. Read more about the state's new uniform non-payment policy for serious reportable events:
Following the adoption of a uniform, statewide non-payment policy for serious reportable events and the distribution of policy guidelines for state agencies, the HealthyMass Serious Reportable Events Taskforce completed its work in June 2009.
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