Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Dental and medical health insurance are converging. Right here’s what it


Well being insurers are transferring in on the worthwhile turf dental insurers have claimed for many years; the variety of well being plans providing grownup dental advantages greater than doubled previously two years, in keeping with a brand new survey of dental- and health-insurance leaders we performed earlier this yr.

Because the convergence accelerates, extra customers can anticipate their well being plans to supply dental insurance coverage, albeit with a separate premium – a mannequin that would come to dominate the market within the subsequent few years.

With any basic shift in healthcare, nonetheless, comes a slew of pressing, complicated questions: Will some dental payers be left within the mud? How can they greatest adapt to those altering circumstances? What are the obstacles to convergence? And what is going to this shift imply for customers?

Convergence: a possibility or a menace?
Whereas the overwhelming majority of customers nonetheless depend on standalone dental insurance coverage, such insurers are quick discovering the bottom shifting beneath their ft: in keeping with a latest survey, by 2025, most foresee partnering with a well being insurer and almost half anticipate advantages to be bundled.

But whereas 28 p.c of dental-plan leaders see this as a possibility, almost half (49 p.c) understand it as each a possibility and a menace.

One want look no additional than the promise of value-based well being plans at this time to understand the potential upsides: partnering with the best well being plan – and getting access to its capital, scale, community and technological infrastructure – can present dental insurers with a extra holistic view of their sufferers and assist ship higher well being outcomes to extra sufferers at a decrease value.

But a few of these very belongings give well being plans the flexibility to upend susceptible dental payers. Executives we spoke to famous that well being insurers wield deeper pockets, have “extra premium to play with” – which means they’ll decrease costs extra flexibly than dental plans – and may provide one-stop-shop comfort that can be particularly interesting to youthful clients.

On the identical time, dental payers eyeing potential partnerships could also be cautious concerning the healthcare trade’s tendency towards deliberate – generally reluctant – change, as evidenced by the gradual adoption of pay-for-performance reimbursement fashions. And insurers have nonetheless not seen the blueprint for integrating the 2 merchandise and coordinating subsequent care between physicians and dentists.

Worse, well being plans will not be the one ones excited about competing in a market traditionally dominated by conventional standalone plans. Half of the executives surveyed consider that non-medical, ancillary insurers are additionally exerting vital stress on oral advantages.  Whereas a net-entrant into this area, many consider they might start grabbing membership and market share.

To thrive – and to search out the best partnerships – dental plans might want to get proactive and strategic: innovating in areas like various fee fashions, tele-dentistry and information sharing; tackling their know-how debt; optimizing processes by way of information administration methods and improved working metrics; and exploring their very own choices for diversification, be it by turning into third-party directors, buying or merging with different firms or providing ancillary merchandise (e.g. imaginative and prescient, listening to, life, pet) of their very own.

“It’s not just like the mouth isn’t linked to the physique”
Even supposing solely 37 p.c of US adults visited the dentist final yr, respondents to the survey say the largest issue driving dental-and-health plan convergence is the mixing of oral well being into total well being. This integration – mixed with value-based dentistry, partnerships with well being plans and the truth that having dental protection is the perfect determinant of whether or not a person will make common dental visits – ought to finally result in the next quantity of visits total.

On the medical facet, dental-health plan partnerships – particularly these with efficient know-how platforms – can drive higher well being outcomes, care coordination and larger simplicity for customers used to navigating a posh well being system.

The acquisition of a one-product, two-premium plan (i.e., dental advantages bundled with broader medical health insurance) also needs to converse to a millennial client base more and more in quest of comfort. As different insurance coverage markets converge, there could even be alternatives for enabling customers to bundle medical, dental, imaginative and prescient, and pet insurance coverage into single buying choices. Akin to the recognition of bundling house, life, and auto…some consider that this development could transfer in the direction of healthcare.

Although Covid-19 could sow uncertainty into the approaching convergence of dental and well being plans, now just isn’t the time for dental payers to take a seat idly by. With the momentum for bundling with well being plans rising and competitors from ancillary insurers heating up, solely those that take proactive steps to stake out a spot for themselves on this aggressive panorama will thrive as convergence accelerates. So, too, will their members.

Picture: Dmitrii_Guzhanin, Getty Photos


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Man, stepfather charged with vandalizing house with BLM indicators


A Massachusetts man and his stepfather repeatedly vandalized a house displaying Black Lives Matter indicators — spray-painting an obscenity on a tree and pelting eggs and tomatoes on the residence, authorities allege.

Joshua Simpson, 21, and Stephen Smith, 55, had been arraigned Tuesday after a month-long investigation into vandalism, property injury and civil rights violations on the house in Lynnfield, Essex County District Legal professional Jonathan Blodgett introduced.

The pair, who additionally stay in Lynnfield, had been charged after a resident first reported the vandalism on Aug. 17, saying an obscenity directed towards Black Lives Matter was spray-painted on a driveway, Blodgett stated.

The home-owner stated a BLM signal on the residence was stolen the night time earlier than, however the alleged theft was not reported, authorities stated.

Police responded to the Summer season Road house over the course of the following month to look into a number of acts of vandalism and property injury, together with a number of stolen BLM indicators, an obscenity spray-painted on a tree and eggs and tomatoes tossed on the residence, Blodgett stated.

Officers conducting surveillance on the house early Tuesday then noticed Simpson approaching the residence with a carton of eggs, Blodgett stated.

“A short while later, Smith drove by the scene and tried to run the officers over along with his automobile,” the district legal professional’s workplace stated in a press release.

Simpson pleaded not responsible to fees of malicious destruction of property, larceny beneath $1,200, vandalizing property, resisting arrest, property injury to intimidate and felony harassment. A decide set his bail at $750 and ordered him to steer clear of the sufferer’s house, in addition to to abstain from ingesting alcohol, Blodgett stated.

Smith pleaded not responsible to working beneath the affect, assault with a harmful weapon, reckless operation of a motorized vehicle, property injury to intimidate and assault to homicide. He was ordered held with out bail forward of a dangerousness listening to set for Sept. 21, prosecutors stated.

Detectives spent “numerous hours” responding to the vandalism experiences and dealing with the owners to determine Smith and Simpson, Lynnfield Police Chief David Breen stated.

“I’m hopeful that these arrests and eventual prosecution of those people will assist present some peace of thoughts to the victims and ship a message to others that such a conduct is not going to be tolerated on this neighborhood,” Breen stated in a press release.


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Amazonia Bowl from @lacatrinaboston – Absolutely loved the


Amazonia Bowl from @lacatrinaboston – Absolutely loved the Amazonia bowl – a vegan dish with fried plantains, mixed vegetables, black beans, and pico de gallo served over rice.

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Area hit arduous by opioids embraces jail-based therapy


As western Massachusetts struggles with a dramatic spike in deadly overdoses, officers are embracing a controversial resolution: sending males who haven’t dedicated any crimes to jails and prisons for court-ordered habit therapy.

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Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi has designated a wing of his jail for the therapy of males civilly dedicated for substance abuse causes. It is the one facility in western Massachusetts housing the lads, and simply certainly one of three in all the state for males.

Whereas some are attempting to finish the apply, Cocchi and his supporters — together with native mayors and lawmakers — say the jail’s year-old Stonybrook Stabilization and Therapy Facilities is vital to curbing the opioid drawback within the county, which incorporates the previous manufacturing cities of Springfield and Holyoke.

Deadly overdoses surged greater than 80% in Hampden County from 2017 to 2018 at the same time as they declined statewide for the second straight 12 months in 2018, in accordance with state knowledge.

“Individuals coming into our program are offended, violent and sick,” Cocchi mentioned as he and different officers celebrated this system’s anniversary earlier this week. “They’re on the finish of the highway, and their households have acknowledged that if they do not intervene, they won’t survive.”

However the civil rights group Prisoners’ Authorized Providers of Massachusetts has sued the state in an effort to finish the usage of jails and prisons for forcibly treating males with habit.

The category motion lawsuit was filed in March on behalf of 10 males who complained of poor situations and mistreatment at one other civil dedication program run out of a state Division of Corrections jail.

A state fee has additionally just lately really helpful ending the apply of sending civilly dedicated males to jails and prisons, because the state did for ladies three years in the past, following an analogous lawsuit. Girls are actually despatched to substance abuse therapy services run or contracted by public well being companies, as most civilly dedicated individuals are in different states.

“This shouldn’t be a alternative between jail or nothing,” mentioned Bonnie Tenneriello, a workers lawyer with Prisoners’ Authorized Providers. “Why are we giving cash to a sheriff to run therapy applications relatively than funding civilian therapy?”

Underneath state legislation, relations can ask a choose to order their relations into therapy in the event that they’re unwilling to go voluntarily and are deemed a hazard to themselves or others.

No less than 35 states have such civil dedication legal guidelines, however Massachusetts is only one of a handful the place it is extensively used, The Related Press discovered final 12 months.

About 9,950 civil commitments requests had been filed in state courts within the finances 12 months that ended June 30. That is down from greater than 10,770 the prior 12 months however up considerably from the 6,105 in fiscal 12 months 2016 and the below 3,000 in fiscal 12 months 2006, in accordance with state knowledge.

Tenneriello and different opponents say forcing individuals into jails and prisons for therapy solely reinforces the stigma round habit. And research, together with the state’s personal analysis , additionally counsel compelled therapy largely would not work and will elevate the hazard of overdose for individuals who relapse after therapy.

Just like the state corrections-run civil dedication facility, Hampden County’s program takes place, at the very least initially, behind the razor wire of its safe jail campus.

Civilly dedicated males are additionally equally segregated from the common inmate inhabitants however required to put on corrections-issued uniforms and observe sure corrections protocols.

However, in an effort to make this system really feel much less institutional, cell doorways stay largely unlocked and program contributors aren’t handcuffed, Cocchi and a few just lately launched sufferers mentioned.

“Sure, it is a jail setting. There are corrections officers strolling round,” mentioned Keith Molyneux, a 40-year-old recovering from heroin habit who was among the many first to finish this system final 12 months. “However they’re extra dedicated to serving to you right here than to truly being a correctional officer. You undoubtedly really feel like they’re there to assist.”

After a couple of weeks of detoxing on the jail, most are ultimately transferred to a much less safe facility situated off-campus in a transformed nursing residence. There, the lads can put on civilian garments and are housed in rooms which might be bigger and extra dorm-like.

Early outcomes of the strategy — which additionally consists of well being care professionals administering habit therapy medicines and main counselling periods — are encouraging, Cocchi mentioned.

Since opening final Could, greater than 850 males have gone by way of this system, staying 47 days, on common — weeks longer than they do on the state’s different two services.

The longer stays improve the percentages that the lads will keep sober, Cocchi mentioned. Up to now, lower than 5% have needed to be recommitted, although two fatally overdosed after leaving this system.

Lawmakers, in the meantime, have dedicated $1 million to this system within the present state finances, proving the trouble has sturdy assist, regardless of its detractors, he mentioned.

“Allow us to proceed doing what we’re doing,” Cocchi mentioned. “Nobody else is doing this work out right here, however we’re doing it, and we’re doing it effectively. Why should not we be applauded and supported?”


Comply with Philip Marcelo at twitter.com/philmarcelo.


This story has been corrected to determine the Hampden County sheriff as Nick Cocchi, not Thomas Cocchi.


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Shakshouka from @committeeboston – Shakshouka made to share for the desk, serve…


Shakshouka from @committeeboston – Shakshouka made to share for the desk, served with pita bread

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