Photo by Tony Sampas
Photo by Tony Sampas
“Massachusetts Mills” by Richard Marion (c) 2012.
This is purple loosestrife season in the valley.
See more artwork at www.richardmarion.net
Boston.com is reporting the Governor Deval Patrick today will sign the first-in-the-nation Health Care Cost Containment bill that was passed by the legislature at the end of July. The Act, Senate Bill 2526, is complex and far reaching and attempts to transform the way health care providers are paid, switching from a fee for service model that gives financial incentives for excessive treatment and testing to a “universal payment” approach that rewards preventative care.
Just as the Commonwealth became a national model for universal health care when President Obama adopted the system developed in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney (sorry, I couldn’t resist), the eyes of the nation are on Massachusetts on the issue of cost containment, as well. Yesterday’s lead editorial in the New York Times fully discussed the opportunities and challenges posed as this bill goes into effect.
Whether it’s a consequence of this cost containment bill or just a natural outgrowth of a more progressive, innovative approach to health care in this state, Friday’s mail brought an envelope from Tufts Health Plan, my health insurer provider. Inside was not a notice of a rate increase or a new surcharge. Instead it was a refrigerator magnet and a letter of explanation. The insurer has established the “Tufts Health Plan Nurse24″ nurse line which is free, voluntary and confidential to those with Tufts insurance. The toll free number is staffed 24/7 and the nurses who answer the phone can offer information on things like home treatment of minor illness and injury, when to call a doctor, how to prepare for doctor visits, how to make wise decisions on tests, medications and procedures, understanding your prescriptions, and how to make lifestyle choices to improve your health.
Fortunately, I haven’t had to call the number since receiving it on Friday, but the magnet is already on my refrigerator. The internet is still available as a health care research tool, but it certainly will be nice to be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone when a non-emergency health care issue arises.
Last week I installed an application on this blog that detects what type of device visitors are using to view this site. If it’s a mobile device such as a smart phone or a tablet such as an iPad, this new application reformats the content of the blog and sends it to you in a way that is easier to read on a small screen. I wrote about it in this post.
While this works great on the very small screen of a smart phone, the screen on an iPad is not all that small and the traditional format of the blog works just fine. And as one reader with vision challenges noted, the mobile format does not easily allow the reader to increase the size of the font to make for easier reading.
The good news is that there is an “opt out” button at the reader’s disposal. Unfortunately, it’s at the very bottom of the screen and it’s not permanent, but it at least provides the option to go back to the traditional view. The photo immediately below is a screen shot of an iPad displaying this blog on the mobile app. The photo far below is a close-up of the “view full site” button at the bottom of the iPad screen.
“The Westford Chorus and Friends sing the National Anthem before the Lowell Spinners game”
This video was originally posted by Emily Mastandrea