Testimony in Support Of H.2480/S.643, an Act to Promote Public Health through the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund before the Committee on Public Health

The Massachusetts Medical Society wishes to be recorded in strong support for these identical bills that would continue to fund the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF), a successful initiative administered by the Department of Public Health (DPH) which has promoted evidence-based community interventions that keep residents healthy and safe. 

The PWTF was established in July 2012, to accomplish the following community based goals:

  • reduce rates of the most prevalent and preventable health conditions;
  • increase healthy behaviors;
  • increase the adoption of workplace-based wellness or health management programs; and
  • address health disparities.

The PWTF helps support community based partnerships like municipalities, healthcare systems, businesses, regional planning organizations, and schools. The DPH has allocated funding to nine local grantee partnerships which focus on four priority health conditions: pediatric asthma, hypertension, tobacco use, and falls in older adults. 

The success of the PWTF is well documented.  It has increased access to preventive services for nearly 1 million people across every region of the Commonwealth.  Moreover, an independent evaluator found promising results on health impacts, cost effectiveness, potential for cost savings, and systems innovation – and concluded that the program warrants further investment. The Prevention & Wellness Advisory Board—which includes representatives of consumers, insurers, hospitals, municipalities, business, researchers, and others – also recommends continued funding.

The MMS considers the PWTF an essential partner in bringing about successful health care transformation.  PWTF brings evidence-based interventions to scale and evaluates their impact, providing crucial lessons for MassHealth and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) as they seek to improve care at lower cost. PWTF tackles major cost drivers like preventable health conditions that, nationally, consume approximately 86% of national health care costs.

Passage of H.2480/S.643 will ensure the continued operation of the PWTF through a small assessment on health insurers. Small investment = Major impact!  

The MMS urges the Public Health Committee to support H.2480/S.643.

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