JudyAnn Bigby Talks to MMS About Payment Reform and ACOs

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. JudyAnn Bigby offered a little something for everyone at this morning’s opening session of the MMS House of Delegates.

After emphatically defending the state’s record on health reform, Dr. Bigby told the delegates that she agrees with the MMS payment reform principle that “one size doesn’t fit all.” Bigby also delighted some in the audience when she said, “We don’t believe that hospitals should be the center of the universe for ACOs. … We envision a wide range, a diversity of integrated providers.”

She also strongly criticized the proposed federal rules for Medicare ACOs. “We have a challenge getting the federal government to understand if they put out those types of regulations and those types of restrictions … it’s going to hamstring us all in being innovative and being able to create entities in Massachusetts that represent much more diverse entities that they envision.”

Dr. Bigby also said the state will soon invite providers to suggest how the state should design payment models that support the delivery of integrated care. She said the feedback will help the state design demonstration projects for different payment models.

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