Winter 2019
HPC in the News
1)  Cash may net lower price for some drugs (CommonWealth Magazine, October 4, 2018)
2)  ER visits continue to impact health costs (CommonWealth Magazine, October 17, 2018)

5)  Massachusetts healthcare spending growth drops in 2017 (Modern Healthcare, December 13, 2018)
7).  States eye Massachusetts health cost panel as model  (Politico, January 4, 2019)
Job Opportunities
The HPC is currently accepting applications for:
  • Associate Counsel, Legal Department
  • 2019 Summer Fellowship Program
  • HPC Internship Program
Click here for more information. 
Public Meeting Livestream
Did you miss a public meeting? The HPC records all public sessions and broadcasts them live on our YouTube Channel, where you can view recordings of past meetings.  
Keep in Touch
Be sure to  visit our website  and follow us on Twitter to get the most timely information. 


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Happy New Year! 
2018 was an extremely busy and successful year here at the Health Policy Commission, including 26 public meetings, 29 total publications, 5 online issues of DataPoints, $17 million distributed among 45 grants, the launch of a new grant program, and the HPC's 6th Annual Health Care Cost Trends Hearing

We look forward to continuing and expanding on this work in 2019.  This winter, the HPC will release the 2018 Cost Trends Report (findings, as presented at a past Board meeting, are available here). The full 2019 public meeting schedule is located below. 

In addition, we are thrilled to announce that we are now accepting applications for our 2019 Fellowship Program, now in its fifth year. 
Thank you for your continued engagement in our work to ensure a more efficient and effective health care system in Massachusetts.
David Seltz
Executive Director
2019 Summer Fellowship Program 
We are now accepting applications for our annual Summer Fellowship Program! The posting is available here, and the deadline to apply is February 8, 2019. Please share this opportunity with your networks. 

The Fellowship Program has the dual purpose of helping to achieve the Commonwealth's health care cost containment goals while simultaneously providing hands-on educational opportunities to the next generation of health policy leaders. Each year, the Fellowship Program affords students the opportunity to engage in a ten-week, stand-alone policy or research project with one of the HPC's six departments. Fellows are encouraged to manage their own time to ensure they meet outlined project benchmarks, present key presentations, and meet deliverable deadlines.
Applicants must currently be enrolled full-time in a Master's, PhD, law, or medical program. All applicants must have prior internship or fellowship experience and strong written and oral communication skills.  Fellows will be expected to work full time for ten weeks spanning from June 3, 2019 to August 16, 2019, and will be paid $20/hour, for a total payment of up to $7,500. A full summary of fellows and projects from last summer's Fellowship Program can be found here.
HPC DataPoints Continues to Gain State and National Attention with a New Issue
Trends in Behavioral Health Internal Appeals and External Reviews 
Last month, the  HPC released its  ninth issue of DataPoints , examining trends in internal appeals and external reviews pursued by health insurance consumers from 2014 to 2017. This new research found that a significant number of consumers obtained coverage for medically necessary care through an internal appeal with their health plans or through the  Office of Patient Protection's (OPP)  external, independent review process, highlighting the importance of these processes in protecting consumers across the Commonwealth. The findings will be featured in OPP's upcoming 2017 Annual Report, scheduled for release in early 2019.

The HPC identified notable trends in appeals related to behavioral health (BH) care that warrant further examination. Despite the increase in the total number of internal appeals filed between 2014 and 2017, there was a decrease in both the total number of appeals related to coverage of BH treatment, and the percentage of appeals related to BH treatment compared to medical/surgical treatment. Fewer appeals could suggest that policy changes promoting access to BH care, including mental health parity and other state and federal laws, may be favorably affecting consumers' access to BH services. During the same time period, the HPC found that consumers who filed internal appeals with their health plan related to medical/surgical treatment received a favorable decision nearly twice as often as th ose consumers who filed appeals related to BH treatment.

Stay tuned for more from HPC DataPoints in the coming months. As you read through  DataPoints , we encourage you to engage with the interactive graphics by hovering your mouse over different data points to obtain additional information. The graphics display best within Internet Explorer. 
2019 Public Meeting Schedule
Board meetings are held at 12:00 PM unless otherwise indicated. On Committee meeting days, Market Oversight and Transparency (MOAT) meets at 9:30 AM and is immediately followed by Care Delivery Transformation (CDT) at 11:00 AM. All public meetings are held at the HPC's offices at 50 Milk Street in Boston, unless otherwise indicated. 

2019 Board Meetings

Wednesday, Feb. 13
Wednesday, Mar. 13 (Benchmark Hearing)
Wednesday, May 1 (1:00 PM)
Wednesday, Jul. 24
Wednesday, Sep. 11
Wednesday, Dec. 11

Committee Meetings
Wednesday, Feb. 27
Wednesday, Jun. 5
Wednesday, Oct. 2
Wednesday, Nov. 20

Annual Health Care Cost Trends Hearing - Suffolk University Law School
Day 1 - Tuesday, Oct. 22
Day 2 - Wednesday, Oct. 23

Please note that these dates are subject to change over the course of the year, and more meetings may be added. Please check our  website for the most up-to-date information. A printable version of the 2019 calendar is available  here
The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC), established in 2012, is an independent state agency charged with monitoring health care spending growth in Massachusetts and providing data-driven policy recommendations regarding health care delivery and payment system reform.The HPC's mission is to advance a more transparent, accountable, and innovative health care system through its independent policy leadership and investment programs. 
Visit us at us @Mass_HPC.