The MBA's Health Law Section hosted its annual conference June
25. The program provided attendees with an opportunity to hear from
expert panels on trends in health care fraud enforcement, insurance
coverage of mental health care and advocacy initiatives to improve
access to essential mental health services.
"We were so honored and excited to have Secretary John Polanowicz,
a recognized leader in health care quality and costs," said
Conference Co-chair Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong.
Polanowicz offered insight on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) both
on the state and federal level. With 97 percent of its residents
covered with health insurance, Polanowicz indicated that other
states will be looking to Massachusetts for guidance, particularly
as the country nears the 2014 triggering provisions of the
commonwealth's implementation of the ACA.
The day concluded with a presentation from Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez
(D-Boston), chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health. Sanchez
discussed HB1051, "An Act Preventing Unnecessary Medical Debt." The
committee's proposed bill expands existing state and federal
protections for low and moderate income patients who incur medical
debt. He indicated that more than 50 percent of Massachusetts
residents who filed for bankruptcy did so because of medical debt.
One of the bills overarching goals is to address not only acute
health care costs but also the costs associated with medical