… and if he doesn’t know, who the hell does?
… I realized, once again, how hard it is for anyone to get a real handle on health care costs if there’s LITTLE OR NO INFORMATION AVAILABLE ANYWHERE.
… We need more information. We need better information. And we need it to come from a reliable source (aka, some kind of public entity). Let’s hope that in Massachusetts, the Patrick Administration and the state legislature support the Health Care Quality and Cost Council created by the health care reform law.
I take it from the all-caps that Baker’s not too happy about this. Even as a middleman, his bottom line is at stake in all this as well. He’d just as soon have costs go down, keep his prices the same and pocket at least some of the difference.
In any event, I’m also curious about the status of the Quality and Cost Council. I wonder if Baker’s not sending a strong hint to someone to get that in gear, pronto. Over to you, Sec. Bigby.
Update: Getting into the comments, here’s Baker replying to some of Beth Israel CEO Paul Levy’s comments:
While the Patrick Administration filed only a few hundred thousand dollars to get this this up and running – which is simply not enough to do this job right – several House members (led by Rep. Pat Walrath – House Chair of the Health Care Finance Committee) filed amendments to the House budget to bump the number up to the $1.3 MM requested by the Council Board. That would be enough to get the Council off and running.
I have to say, even $1.3 million seems damned meager for an agency that’s doing work that’s this important. We don’t need a “council” of a bunch of bureaucrats with seventy-eleven other things to think about; we need a hive of bad-ass health care evaluator genius wonks. Massachusetts ought to be leading the way in providing health care information from an honest broker, as Baker says. What we’ve got is really a massive let-down.