Consider This: Thoughts of a Behavioral Health Consultant

By John Dabrowski, LICSW
Geiger Gibson Community Health Center & Neponset Health Center

In the big healthcare picture in America, most of us are aware of the “small”, yet vitally important players, such as you and I, and the “big” players, such as the insurers and large hospitals, and all those folks who battle over “Obamacare” in Washington and in the news media.

What is easy to overlook are those working somewhere in between. A good example turned up in a back corner of the Globe this week (page 5 of Metro) with a report on the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, about 150 leaders of various religious congregations in the city, which has been around awhile, but whose role may not be well known to you, if you know about them at all. It turns out they have arranged a forum next week to discuss such issues as bringing down health and insurance costs, and making provider organizations more accountable for what they charge (are you aware of the huge disparities in hospital charges for the same procedures in our fair city? This has been a major news story).

Are you aware of the Health Policy Commission, part of the 2006 Mass Health Care Law, designed to provide oversight for all this? Mass Interfaith wants to look into giving that commission more real power for containing health costs in our state. Could be a good idea. As it turns out, major executives from Partners, Beth Israel, Steward, BCBS, Tufts Health Plan, and a number of other major health organizations plan to be at this forum. Go GBIO! I think it is worthwhile for those doing our work to keep track of what is happening, at all levels, as it all matters to us and our patients. Oh, and GBIO also focuses on issues involving schools, affordable housing, and transportation. Health care issues, as well, if you look at the big picture.

Boston Globe article on The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization: http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/09/11/interfaith-group-seeks-pressure-big-hospitals-and-insurers-curb-rising-health-care-costs/s1ICGxobubqhHuJ7jBpgMO/story.html

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