Associated Industries of Massachusetts and several of its member companies have been appointed to represent employers on three key state commissions looking at health-care costs, financial best practices and the future of manufacturing.
Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer, was among 23 people named yesterday to a special commission studying the variation in prices among Massachusetts hospitals and health-care providers. The commission was established as part of a deal to avoid a ballot question that would have reduced health insurance payments to the state’s largest hospital network, Partners HealthCare, and given some of that money to lower-paid competitors.
Reports by the attorney general’s office and the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission have blamed rising health-insurance premiums in part on the fact that some academic teaching hospitals charge significantly more money for medical procedures than community hospitals with no better outcomes. Massachusetts residents obtain medical care at high-cost teaching hospitals far more frequently that people in other states.
Lord has been deeply involved in efforts to address the high cost of health care for more than a decade. He currently serves on the Health Policy Commission and was a charter board member of the Massachusetts Health Care Connector Authority. He was appointed to the special commission on price disparity by House Minority Leader Brad Jones, R-North Reading.
“Massachusetts is home to world-renowned hospitals and doctors, but we also know that up to one-third of all medical care is delivered inefficiently. I look forward to working with members of the commission to ensure that our unparalleled medical system is also affordable for employers and workers,” Lord said.
Others named to the special commission include AIM members Howard Grant, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lahey Health System; Deb Devaux, Chief Operating Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; Lynn Nicholas, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Hospital Association; and Lora Pellegrini, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans.
By statute, the commission will also include the secretaries for administration and finance and health and human services, the attorney general, and the executive director of the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) under the co-leadership of the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing Senator James Welch and House Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing Representative Jeffrey Sanchez.
Meanwhile, Katherine Holahan, Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM, was named to a three-year term as a member of the State Finance and Governance Board.
The board works to further transparency, accountability and best practices among state entities relative to investments, borrowing, or other financial transactions involving public funds.
The panel is required to review any derivative financial product relative to transactions entered into by state entities, including any quasi-public entity, independent authority, or any state entity that is authorized to manage or oversee public funds. Examples of these entities are: the Massachusetts Port Authority; the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; and the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
The final appointment was Brian Gilmore, Executive Vice President of External Affairs, who was named to another term as a member of the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC).
Made up of leaders from industry, academia and government, the AMC implements and evaluates state policies to support the competitiveness of Massachusetts manufacturers. Gilmore leads AIM’s manufacturing initiatives and has worked on policy and projects that allow manufacturing companies to be efficient, competitive and attractive paces to work for skilled employees.
The AMC addresses issues through five working groups: (1) Promoting Manufacturing; (2) Workforce & Education; (3) Technical Assistance & Innovation; (4) Cost of Doing Business; and (5) Access to Capital. The AMC also works in parallel with President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and with seven other states through the National Governors Association Center of Best Practices Policy Academy on Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation.