Ensuring the consumer voice in coverage and quality in Massachusetts

Coverage and quality are interconnected problems in health care policy, and yet health care policy improvement efforts often pursue quality or coverage but rarely both together, as though they were isolated problems. In April 2006, Massachusetts passed landmark health reform legislation (Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006) aimed at achieving near universal coverage which importantly recognizes the complementary role that quality plays in improving health care for citizens in Massachusetts. In July 2006, the Foundation made a six-month grant to Health Care for All, a leading health care advocacy group in Massachusetts, to capitalize on this opportunity and support effective engagement of consumers in coverage and quality issues in Massachusetts' health care reform implementation efforts. The second phase of this collaborative project will support a continuation of the activities begun under the first phase. This project fits with RWJF's Quality/Equality and Coverage strategic interests. Engaging consumers in demanding better quality from their health care system is relevant to the strategic objective of the recently revised Quality/Equality effort. It is also consistent with the Coverage effort to support state-based advocacy that will promote stable and affordable coverage for all. This project presents the Foundation with a unique opportunity to address two of its priority areas which are typically tackled independently and to learn how to coordinate its quality and coverage related work better. Project deliverables will include: enrollment of newly eligible individuals and families into appropriate coverage; educational materials about Chapter 58 implementation for the public and policy makers in Massachusetts and nationally; a Massachusetts' consumer-driven patient safety and improvement agenda; educational materials to teach consumers about quality improvement in Massachusetts; the addition of a consumer voice in key Massachusetts quality councils and other fora; and recommendations to ensure e-health initiatives account for consumer interests.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $1,500,000.00

Awarded on: 1/31/2007

Time frame: 2/15/2007 - 2/14/2010

Grant Number: 58234


Health Care for All Inc.

One Federal Street
Boston, 02110-2012


Amy Whitcomb Slemmer
Project Director