Strategies for Reform
Massachusetts’ 2006 health care reform initiative was not developed overnight. Based on more than 20 years of incremental public coverage expansions and systems innovations, the initiative also included at least three years of pre-implementation design and stakeholder support strategies to ensure its success. As senior officials or consultants in the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services at the time, health lawyers and policy analysts at the Center for Health Law and Economics at UMass Medical School were integrally involved in the early design, stakeholder strategy development, and implementation of Massachusetts’ landmark health care reform initiative.
State leaders in the executive and legislative branches employed deliberate and successful strategies for the following:
- Isolating and prioritizing the specific problems they were trying to address
- Methodical problem-solving
- Assessing operational, financial, and political feasibility
- Convening and holding together a bipartisan group of leaders from state and federal government, providers, insurers, employers, consumers, and advocates through active stakeholder communication and collaboration
These and other strategies were crucial to the success of Massachusetts health care reform coverage initiative.