Member Update – June/July 2020

July 1st is not the first of the calendar year, but it is the start of a new year for MassAHU. And the new year brings a sense of renewed commitment, fresh ideas and new opportunities. Join us as we focus our mission on advocacy, education and collaboration.

Beacon Hill Update

Jack Bartley provided a state update to our board and legislative committee recently. The legislature may stay in session beyond its usual recess date of July 31st so that legislation can get passed before the end of this biennial session in an election year. A list of healthcare related bills currently filed with the legislature shows how much legislative activity there could be before the lame duck session begins.

This week the Senate passed SB2769 “An Act Putting Patients First” after filing a flurry of 70 amendments, 15 of which were adopted.  Please see the summary our lobbyist has prepared with notation on the amendments from MAHP.

It is anticipated that the House will not adopt the Senate version, but will come up with its own bill on telemedicine, out of network billing, behavioral health, and other issues of concern. MassAHU will focus its efforts on meeting with House leaders to influence the provisions of the House bill, and hopefully to result in passage of legislation that strengthens the market without costly or unfriendly market mandates.

If you would like to join the Legislative Committee, now is a great time to get involved. There’s no travel involved in our virtual meeting format! And it is truly one of the most rewarding ways to become involved in our profession. We’re on the front line in evaluating proposed laws, discussing issues and outcomes with other stakeholders, and meeting with legislative and regulatory representatives. This makes us more knowledgeable and valuable to our clients and our coworkers. Why not attend our next meeting to see? Ask us to be included in our next meeting invitation.

Merged Market Advisory Council Update

The Merged Market Advisory Council met briefly in June and is scheduled to meet again on July 22nd, August 19th, and then bi-weekly until their recommendations are completed. As you may recall, the purpose of the council’s formation was to address the affordability and future viability of the individual/small group market. One of the greatest challenges to the group is discerning what changes need to be made for future stability when the pandemic is having such a great impact on healthcare demand and claims cost. Take a few minutes to read the summary of the June meeting from Shelley Kaleita from our lobbyist’s office. MassAHU is currently working on our recommendations to submit to the MMAC.

Compliance Update

First, a trivia question. Do you know what PCORI stands for? Although it resembles the name of an Italian cheese, PCORI has aged longer than any cheese we know. First enacted as part of the ACA in 2010, it turns out that PCORI has an even longer shelf life, as it has been extended for another 10 years.

Rick Szczebak’s June Compliance Update for MassAHU Members outlines the ongoing employer requirements. And, as far as the acronym goes, in case you don’t remember, it’s the “Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute.” We’re not aware of any outcomes yet, except that it appears they need a few more years of funding.

Summer Sale on Continuing Education Courses!

We had planned to hold a continuing education course on Single Payer Healthcare this summer, but it is now just one more cancellation on our calendars due to Covid-19. However, we are still committed to bringing this program to Massachusetts.

The new certification course provides an important foundation we all need to have as our country debates its future healthcare reform, so we encourage all our members to take advantage of this promotional offer. NAHU has reduced their tuition costs for their most popular online certification courses, including the Single Payer Healthcare Certification course. To receive the tuition discount, you must enroll before midnight on July 4th.

To enhance this deep dive into Medicare for All, public options, Medicare buy-in, and socialized medicine models in Canada, UK and other countries, MassAHU will offer a live broadcast program with national experts to discuss/debate single payer health care with our members. You must enroll in the online course before July 31st to receive an invitation to the live program.

** Remember that the special NAHU pricing ends on July 4th so be sure to sign up for your discounted tuition using the code HOTDAYZ at checkout to start your summer reading!

MassAHU Leadership Update

We usually announce our proposed association leadership at Benefest each year and ask our membership to vote their approval of the proposed slate of officers and directors. We will therefore submit the proposed leadership to the members in an email, asking everyone to vote by email to approve the list. With the resignation of Chris Powers from the board as of July 1st, we are open to nominations from the membership to serve on the board of directors. Nominations will be open until July 31st. Please contact Julie Jennings if you would like to nominate yourself or another member to serve. The vote will take place in early August, with the current board serving in its current positions until then.

Membership Update

We are proud to announce that the Massachusetts State Chapter of NAHU received an award at the Annual Convention this week. We were presented the Retention Award for small chapters (101-250 members), achieving the highest retention rate in the nation at 85.22%. Thank you to our membership for sticking with us and we are committed to making your membership even more valuable in the coming months. We will help you stay connected during this time of independent and sometimes isolated working conditions. If you know someone in our profession who needs to be connected, ask them to JOIN US!

In closing…

We wish you all success as you reopen your own doors, virtually or physically, to support others in our community who depend on you for employment, for sage counsel regarding benefits, and for friendship and compassion as we find our way through a changing environment.

As you take a breather from home schooling your kids and grandkids and plan a little downtime for your family this summer, be safe and know that we are here working hard to address legislative priorities, assimilate into our new board roles and responsibilities, and develop programs to educate and support our members.

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