Dr. JudyAnn Bigby
The Boston Globe broke the news late yesterday that Gov. Deval Patrick will announce replacements today for several top administration figures, including Health and Human Services secretary JudyAnn Bigby, finance chief Jay Gonzalez and public safety head Mary Beth Heffernan.
An administration source tells WBUR that the replacements include:
• Suffolk Sheriff Andrea Cabral as public safety secretary.
• The president of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, John Polanowicz, as health and human services secretary.
• Glen Shor, current head of the Massachusetts Health Connector, as head of Administration and Finance.
‘Connector’ Chief Glen Shor
An administration official says: “This is a natural transition time and we expect some change in the administration. The Governor asked all of his Secretaries for a two year commitment at the start of the second term and has asked them for a similar commitment now.”
The Globe notes that the outgoing secretaries have both earned praise and been “dogged by controversies,” including: Continue reading
Connector Chief Glen Shor
WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports that the state is not budgeting any additional money for subsidized health insurance that covers low to moderate income residents. Instead, it’s relying on insurance plans due out today which provide the same benefits with no increased cost.
For most of us, the price of insurance went up at least 7-10% this year. But plans that cover moderate income residents through Commonwealth Care are holding rates flat by limiting where patients can go, negotiating tougher contracts with hospitals, and with better oversight of the sickest patients. Glen Shor runs, who runs the state’s Health Connector says: “We’re very excited to test new models for delivering coverage in a more effective manner. We hope there’s something to learn from this experiment that can help other cost containment efforts.”
Shor says the state will save $80 million dollars by level funding Commonwealth Care.
The limits placed on where patients can seek care may be significant. The Boston Globe reports:
Shor said that a proposed limited-network contract from Network Health excludes all hospitals in the Partners HealthCare system except two, on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Connector chief Glen Shor
In his monthly message, just out today, the director of “The Connector” says that repealing federal health reform
would be a “costly mistake,” bad for Massachusetts and even worse for other states.
Glen Shor, who runs the “Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority Board” — the independent state agency that acts as an insurance broker of sorts in the post-health-care-reform era here in Massachusetts — writes:
Although repeal of national reform would not undo any of the provisions of our landmark 2006 Massachusetts law, it would have many downsides for our state.
First off, it would deprive Massachusetts’ residents and employers of a number of immediate benefits of national reform. Tax credits for small businesses would be repealed. We all know that small employers have been struggling with the cost of health insurance for their employees and need and deserve a helping hand. Senior citizens who find themselves in the donut hole will not get promised assistance with prescription drug costs. A provision in the new law that does away with co-pays for preventive care would be cancelled. New funding for community health centers would disappear. And the expanded protections allowing more young adults to remain on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26 would likewise be terminated. Continue reading