News

Jan 9, 2014

Moore


Senate leader says health cost containment making progress Moore leads in
curbing medical errors

Category: News Room
Posted by: Craig

Senate leader says health cost containment making progress Moore leads in
curbing medical errors

BOSTON - Reports that the health care system in Massachusetts wastes
billions of dollars, much of the cost attributed to hospital-acquired
infections, came as no surprise to one of the leading architects of the
state's landmark health care reform and cost containment legislation. Senate
President Pro Tempore Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, applauded the release of
a report by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) that found
preventable infections acquired in health care settings increase health care
costs by $10 million to $18 million a year.

As the Legislature's leading health care expert, the veteran Uxbridge
lawmaker has championed infection prevention for the past fifteen years
since becoming Senate Health Committee Chair in 1999. His leadership
resulted in the law, a part of the state's 2012 health care cost containment
measure, which requires hospitals to report infection rates to the federal
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The HPC report, released this
week, is the first of its kind and will become an annual benchmark for
hospital safety.

Sen. Moore included infection prevention measures in the landmark 2006
health reform law and is also the "father" of the Betsy Lehman Center for
Medical Error Prevention. He has fought to strengthen the role of that
agency since its inception and, recently, sponsored efforts to place it
within the state's Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) to
preserve its independence from political pressures.

Moore is also among the legislative leaders who helped to create the
Massachusetts Health Policy Commission which is tasked with leading efforts
to contain the rising cost of health care in Massachusetts. Consequently, he
said he was not surprised when the Commission issued its first annual report
that asserts that as much as 20 to 40 percent of all health care spending in
Massachusetts is wasteful, much of it squandered on unnecessary hospital
readmissions and emergency room visits.

The HPC study estimates wasteful spending in 2012 at a staggering $15
billion to $27 billion. The biggest single category - $700 million - was
spent on readmissions of patients recently discharged from hospitals.
Unnecessary ER visits tallied up $550 million in waste. Total health
spending in the Bay State is estimated at $69 billion.

"This information is precisely what state policymakers need," Sen. Moore
stated. "With data on hospital re-admission and infection rates, the state
can now push hospitals and other providers to become more efficient and
improve the quality of care delivered," he added.

Sen. Moore explained that Chapter 224, the first-in-the-nation health care
cost containment law that mandated the establishment of the HPC and the cost
report, was a bi-partisan effort to improve the quality of health care and
keep costs down.

"I was pleased when every member of the Massachusetts Senate and a
bi-partisan majority of the House overwhelmingly approved this important
measure a year and a half ago," said Moore. "Now that it is being fully
implemented and is working, we can see that patients are reaping the
benefits as the care delivered will improve and health insurance will not
rise as fast."

Moore added that the handful of House members who opposed the bill "should
apologize to their constituents for blindly voting no on the
cost-containment law like their 'big brothers' in the U.S. House who have
blocked efforts to correct deficiencies in federal health reform."

For more information about Sen. Moore's health care efforts, visit
www.senatormoore.com, or follow him on Facebook
(www.facebook.com/senatormoore) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/sendickmoore).