News & Views2022-09-29T15:17:04-04:00


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Unsustainable: An Honest Assessment of Massachusetts’ Healthcare Performance

By Barbra G. Rabson

(July 2023)

Last month, the Commonwealth Fund published its annual scorecard on state health performance and gave Massachusetts the top overall ranking. The ranking was based on several metrics collected in 2019, 2020 and 2021 covering seven categories ― Reproductive and Women’s Health, Access and

MHQP Data Spotlights the Troubling State of Pediatric Care in Boston Globe Article

(June 2023)

An article by Jessica Bartlett in this past Sunday’s Boston Globe asserts that “independent pediatric practices are struggling to survive.” MHQP is pleased to help bring attention to this critical issue by providing data cited by the author.

The article focuses on Middleboro Pediatrics, an independent practice located in Lakeville,

“The Failing Health of Primary Care in the US,” a Podcast Hosted by Zeev Neuwirth and Featuring Barbra Rabson and Katherine Gergen Barnett

(June 2023)

Barbra Rabson, MPH and Katherine Gergen Barnett, MD have teamed up again to raise concerns about the state of primary care in Massachusetts and across the country, this time on a podcast hosted by Zeev Neuwirth, MD.

As Dr. Neuwirth’s guests for episode #152 of his award-winning podcast series,

Welcome Karina Santamaria, New Director of Research

(May 2023)

“My plans were to go to medical school, but then I found this whole other world of solving health problems. I’ve learned there are many different roads to get to an endpoint.”

That’s how Karina Santamaria, MHQP’s new Director of Research, describes the evolution of her career path that led

MHQP Receives Second PCORI Award to Help Improve Care for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease

(May 2023)

In the summer of 2022, MHQP partnered with the Massachusetts Sickle Cell Association (MSCA) to lead a set of convenings to explore new directions for research into patient-centered approaches to help people with sickle cell disease (SCD) self-manage their pain. This effort was made possible through an award from

MHQP Surveying MassHealth Members About Their Patient Experiences of Care

(May 2023)

MHQP is pleased to announce that we have again been selected by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as its vendor to survey members of MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, about their experiences of care. MHQP completed a five-year contract for

Celebrating Barbra Rabson on her 25th Anniversary at MHQP

(May 2023)

When Barbra Rabson joined MHQP as its part-time executive director in April 1998, MHQP was not yet an official organization. In fact, she started out as a contractor for the Massachusetts Hospital Association, which was serving as MHQP’s incubator.

The concept of MHQP was born three years earlier, when the late

A Chorus of Concerns About the Breakdown of Our Primary Care System

By Barbra G. Rabson

(May 2023)

It was almost four years ago when I first wrote of my concerns about the future of primary care in Massachusetts. This was on the heels of ground-shaking reports indicating that there was a national decline in primary

2023 MHQP Clinical Guidelines Highlight the Impact of Systemic Racism on Health Outcomes

“Patients may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if they are Black, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic/Latino.”

This was one of the “Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes” identified in the Diabetes section of last year’s version of MHQP’s Clinical Guidelines. MHQP revises

MHQP Receives BCBSMA Foundation Grant to Explore Asian Patient Experiences

(March 2023)

Through a Special Initiatives grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation (BCBSMAF), MHQP has launched a new project designed to help better understand why Asian patients report worse experiences with primary care than other racial populations. A deeper understanding requires a more nuanced consideration of the

Boston Globe Articles Address Future of Telehealth; Prominently Feature MHQP

(March 2023)

Boston Globe reporter Felice Freyer has published two important articles focused on the future of telehealth in Massachusetts that prominently feature MHQP and its stakeholders.

The first article (“State’s largest insurer extends full telehealth coverage indefinitely” from February 19) spotlights Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ decision to continue paying

Winners of MHQP’s 2022 Patient Experience Awards Provide Best-In-Class Experiences Despite Growing Challenges for Primary Care

(February 2023) 

Primary care practices are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the pandemic due to staffing shortages, inadequate reimbursement policies, changing patterns of well visits, practice consolidation, increased competition from new sources, and many other factors. Despite these challenges, the winners of the 2022 MHQP “Patient Experience Awards” found a

Black, Hispanic and Asian Patients Report Worse Patient Experiences than White Patients in Massachusetts

MHQP Convening Stakeholders to Explore Drivers of These Disparities and How to Reduce Them

(February 2023)

Black, Asian and Hispanic patients report worse experiences than White, non-Hispanic patients in Massachusetts. This is the key finding of an analysis of data collected in MHQP’s annual statewide Patient Experience Survey of commercially-insured patients,

Massachusetts Can Finally Measure the Health of Primary Care

(An editorial published online by The Boston Globe on January 25, 2023, by Barbra G. Rabson and Katherine Gergen Barnett)

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), a nationally renowned institution of science, recently asserted that “primary care is a common

CHIA and MHQP Release First-Ever Dashboard to Monitor the Health of Primary Care

(January 2023)

A high-functioning primary care system has been shown to lead to better patient outcomes, lower costs, and more equitable care, and is key to keeping patients well and out of hospitals and emergency departments.

That’s why the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine recently asserted that “primary care is

MHQP Welcomes Partners on Statewide Initiative to Measure Disparities in Patient Experience

(November 2022)

MHQP is excited to launch an initiative to measure racial and ethnic disparities in patient experiences across Massachusetts by utilizing the same instrument and methodology we have used to measure patient experience in the state since 2006.

Our aim is to broker consistency in health equity measurement throughout the state

Study Finds Disparities in Telehealth Usage Since the Onset of the Pandemic

(November 2022)

The Department of Population Medicine at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, has released the results of a research study on telehealth use in the Commonwealth since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. MHQP supported the effort by collecting and analyzing qualitative interview data

MHQP Celebrates Barbara Spivak and Julita Mir

(November 2022)

MHQP is pleased to celebrate the invaluable contributions of two members of our Board of Directors, Barbara Spivak, MD, and Julita Mir, MD, both of whom have an enormous impact on MHQP’s strategy and direction.

Barbara Spivak, MD

A primary care provider and President and CEO of the Mount Auburn Cambridge

The Need to Measure Patient Experience of Oral Health Care: A Call to Action

(November 2022)

MHQP’s Amy Stern, Andrew D’Amour, Jim Courtemanche, and Barbra Rabson have co-authored an important article in collaboration with Nadeem Karimbux, Dean of the Tufts School of Dental Medicine, and Dr. Mike John, Associate Professor at the Minnesota School of Dentistry. The article, which was recently published in

Employee Spotlight: Raji Rajan

(November 2022)

Raji Rajan, MBA, MS, and her husband, Raj, both decided to shift their careers to work in healthcare after the medical procedure that saved Raj’s life. This was back in 2008. Raji was spending her days working as a Senior Software Engineer at Fidelity and her evenings helping Raj

Telehealth Satisfaction: Up for Clinicians, Down for Patients

(October 2022)

Two-and-a-half years since the beginning of the pandemic, what have we learned about telehealth and how can we make it better for everyone? MHQP has endeavored to answer this question throughout the pandemic in multiple ways.

First, we launched “Together for Better Telehealth” in the summer of 2020, a

Stepping Out of Silos to Tackle Disparities

(September 2022)

Nearly 30 years ago, a Boston Globe Spotlight article highlighted “the worst hospitals” in Massachusetts based on high mortality rates. In the wake of that article, well before the measurement of healthcare quality was widely practiced and accepted, a forward-thinking group of healthcare, business and community leaders

Evaluating Patient Experiences of Primary Care by Visit Mode and Visit Reason During the Pandemic

(September 2022)

MHQP’s Jim Courtemanche, Nathalie McIntosh, Raji Rajan and Barbra Rabson co-authored, along with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ Mark Friedberg, an important study investigating adult patient experiences of, and satisfaction with, in-person, video, and telephone visits in primary care during the COVID-19

MHQP to Produce State’s First-Ever Primary Care Dashboard for CHIA

(September 2022)

MHQP is pleased to announce that we have been selected by the state’s Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) to produce Massachusetts’ first-ever dashboard of metrics to monitor the health of primary care in the state.

Leaders in both the healthcare and policymaking arenas have become increasingly concerned about

Employee Spotlight: Natalya Martins

(August 2022)

Natalya Martins, MPH, has a placard with a quote from Indigenous Australian and activist Lilla Wilson hanging in her office:

“If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work

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