FRCOG’s Fuel Bids for FY19 now dictate Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel instead of #2 Heating Oil. This phased-in law goes into full effect as of July 1, 2018. In our state alone, distillate oil contributed nearly 30,000 tons of SO2 emissions in 2008; the new regulation will reduce this amount to less than 1,000 tons in 2018 – reducing the allowable amount of sulfur from 500 parts per million in 2014 to only 15 ppm as of July 1 of this year. Costs are estimated to be slightly higher – perhaps 2-3 cents per gallon. The cleaner burning fuel will reduce service/cleaning costs in equipment which should mitigate the overall cost increase. The reduction of these fine sulfur particles will impact our respiratory and cardiovascular health, especially for the elderly and children, and significantly improve visibility (haze). FRCOG Fuel Bids will open on May 14 and there are 23 participants for FY19. More info on FRCOG Collective bids is at https://frcog.org/bids
There is an enormous change in the health care received by many people in Franklin County and the North Quabbin going on, as all MassHealth participants join Accountable Care Organizations. FRCOG, the Opioid Task Force, the Community Health Center and others are working to ensure the best possible outcomes for local residents in this promising but complicated shift in how the state funds health care for some of our most vulnerable residents. Interested in learning more? Here are some helpful resources:
ACO Policy Brief
Insurance Navigation Help Listing for our region
Primary Care Practice ACO list for our region
MassHealth Enrollment Guide
The Western MA Health & Medical Coordinating Coalition participated in a tabletop exercise on April 25th testing the MA Dept. of Public Health’s new Patient Placement Coordination Plan. Following federal requirements, the Department had to practice moving at least 20% of western Mass’ hospital patients from sending hospitals to receiving hospitals. The scenario involved flooding that required Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Baystate Medical Center evacuating all of their patients and sending them to the remaining eight hospitals in the region.