BOSTON (Dec. 8, 2022) – The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation released a research report today highlighting top health care priorities for the incoming governor and legislative leaders and action steps that can build on decades of progress and historic health care achievements.
The Foundation partnered on the research project with Manatt Health to solicit perspectives on health reform priorities from a broad and diverse group of health care stakeholders, including consumers, providers, health plans, business and labor. The findings have been synthesized in the report titled, “A Focus on Health Care: Five Key Priorities for the Next Administration.”
Five priorities for immediate attention emerged from the interviews:
- Addressing systemic racism and inequities in health
- Ensuring consumer health care affordability
- Confronting the mental health crisis for children and youth
- Improving access to long-term services and supports, including long-term care
- Mitigating critical health care workforce shortages
“With the new administration taking shape on Beacon Hill, our goal is to encourage action on today’s most pressing health care challenges,” said Audrey Shelto, President and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. “Fortunately, state leaders do not need to start from scratch, as many of the action steps identified in our report build on existing or proposed initiatives. However, tackling these issues will require bold leadership, a collaborative approach, and long-term focus and investment.”
Each of the major health care system challenges identified in the report most acutely impacts people who have been economically, racially, culturally or socially marginalized. This includes a workforce that on the one hand fails to reflect and respond to the diversity of the people it serves, while on the other disproportionately employs people of color in direct-care positions that offer low wages and modest benefits.
The report also points to persistent underinvestment in health care, public health and social systems in communities of color and rural communities in the state, as well as uncontained health care cost growth that is making coverage and care less affordable, especially for consumers of color.
“To meaningfully address the health care challenges and underlying inequities we elevate in our report, state leaders will need an approach to policy development that consistently and systematically engages a diversity of people with lived experiences,” said Shelto. “We urge state leaders to partner with and empower the communities most impacted by these health care challenges in the design and implementation of lasting and effective solutions.”
The full report is available online at the following link: https://www.bluecrossmafoundation.org/publication/strengthening-health-care-commonwealth-priorities-next-administration
About the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation
The mission of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is to ensure equitable access to health care for all those in the Commonwealth who are economically, racially, culturally or socially marginalized. The Foundation was founded in 2001 with an initial endowment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. It operates separately from the company and is governed by its own Board of Directors.
About Manatt Health
Manatt Health integrates legal and consulting services to better meet the complex needs of clients across the health care system. Combining legal excellence, firsthand experience in shaping public policy, sophisticated strategy insight and deep analytic capabilities, we provide uniquely valuable professional services to the full range of health industry players. Our diverse team of more than 180 attorneys and consultants from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and its consulting subsidiary, Manatt Health Strategies, LLC, is passionate about helping our clients advance their business interests, fulfill their missions and lead health care into the future.