Entries by Editorial Staff

Pioneer Poll: MA Healthcare Consumers Overwhelmingly Want Price Information on Services, but Few Know How to Get It

A new Pioneer poll shows seven out of ten Massachusetts workers who get their health insurance through their employers want to know the price of a healthcare procedure before they obtain it, but most of them do not how to obtain such information, even though information is already available through their insurers’ cost estimator tools.

Pioneer Institute to Present Results of New Consumer Poll Monday at State House Healthcare Price Transparency Event

BOSTON – Pioneer Institute will present the results of a new consumer poll at “A Roadmap to Healthcare Price Transparency,” a forum by Pioneer and several partners, to be held Monday, November 4th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the State House. The event will mark the fifth anniversary of the effective date of Massachusetts’ healthcare price transparency laws which require both insurers and healthcare providers of all types to give consumers price information before they obtain healthcare services. The poll, conducted under the auspices of David Paleologos of DAPA Research this past June, is a random sample of 500 Massachusetts residents who obtain health insurance through their employers. The results of the poll will reveal consumers’ […]

VIDEO: Attract & Retain Top Employees Through Perq!

In part two of a new three-part animated video series, Pioneer Institute highlights an MBTA commuter pass program called Perq, that helps Greater Boston businesses attract and retain top talent, and results in savings through tax benefits. The video features two characters, one of whom recommends that the other, an employer, begin offering Perq. She then describes how many businesses already use the program, how it generates savings, and the impact on employee retention and productivity. Companies looking to participate in the program can visit the MBTA’s Perq website: https://perq.mbta.com/. The 2018 Pioneer Institute white paper, “Increasing MBTA Ridership and Revenues with Company Commuter Benefit Programs,” found that a 20 percent jump in employer and employee participation could increase annual T revenue by […]

Study Proposes “Marshall Plan” for Attracting and Retaining Talent Needed to Modernize the MBTA

Better hiring practices and internal organization, external resources needed to deliver on expanded capital budget BOSTON – Going from much larger capital budgets to delivering the actual projects needed to repair and modernize the MBTA will require a “Marshall Plan” that includes improving T hiring practices and internal organization, as well as the strategic use of external resources, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “The problem with the MBTA capital program isn’t lack of money, it’s the inability to spend it,” said Ian Ollis, who authored “The $8.5 Billion Marshall Plan for MBTA Needs” with Greg Sullivan. Annual MBTA capital spending has doubled to between $900 million and $1 billion since the system collapsed in the snow […]

Pioneer Institute Files Updated Amicus Brief in Potentially Landmark School Choice Case Currently before U.S. Supreme Court

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s June decision to hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a case challenging a state constitutional amendment marked by religious bias, Pioneer Institute today announced that it has again filed an amicus curiae brief, this time urging the Court to strike down Montana’s Blaine amendment. Massachusetts is among the 38 states with anti-aid Blaine amendments, which prohibit public resources from flowing to individuals to send their children to religiously affiliated schools. The Commonwealth was the first state to adopt such an amendment, and it is generally considered the most restrictive in the country. The first of the two anti-aid amendments to Massachusetts Constitution was the work of the virulently anti-Catholic Know-Nothing […]

Pioneer Institute Announces Winner of 29th Annual Better Government Competition

Pioneer Institute is pleased to announce that Los Angeles Country Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro)’s program, “Operation Farm Team: Global Transportation Infrastructure Workforce Initiative” is the winner of the 29th annual Better Government Competition. The theme of the 2019 contest was, “Moving People, Moving Goods, Moving Forward,” focusing on innovations that prepare America for the future of transportation.

Press Release: Choice Media, Pioneer Institute, and Ricochet Announce New Education Podcast

“The Learning Curve” to feature Bob Bowdon, Cara Candal, Ed.D. BOSTON – The inaugural episode of the national podcast “The Learning Curve,” a partnership between Choice Media, Pioneer Institute, and Ricochet, debuting on September 6th, will offer straight talk about America’s hottest education stories. Each week, co-hosts Bob Bowdon and Cara Stillings Candal will interview guests and provide provocative commentary on issues that impact students, parents, teachers, policy makers, and taxpayers throughout the country. “We’re excited to begin this partnership on “The Learning Curve,” which will highlight K-12 education news and opinion from the schoolyard to the 2020 campaign trail,” said Jim Stergios, Executive Director of Pioneer Institute. “With thoughtful co-hosts, we’re sure to hear lively debate among noted school […]

Pioneer Institute to Recognize Winners of 29th Annual Better Government Awards at Gala

Speakers to include National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chair Bruce Landsberg and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker BOSTON – Innovative programs that prepare America for the future of transportation, ensure public safety, reduce traffic congestion, and achieve a cleaner environment will be highlighted at Pioneer Institute’s 29th annual Better Government Competition Awards Gala on Monday, September 16th at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will provide opening remarks and Bruce Landsberg, vice chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, will deliver the keynote. Vice Chair Landsberg was appointed in 2018, after holding leadership positions with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Foundation, which received international recognition and numerous awards for promoting light aircraft safety. He has also worked for Cessna, Flying magazine, […]

Study Calls for Easing MBTA Procurement Restrictions and Beefing Up Project Management Capacity

Reforms needed if T is to achieve increased capital spending targets to modernize the system and boost ridership Media Inquiries: Contact Micaela Dawson, Communications Director,  mdawson@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON – The Massachusetts Legislature must free the MBTA from overly restrictive procurement methods and the T must dramatically increase its project and contract management capacity if it is to reach aggressive capital spending targets aimed at upgrading the system and accommodating more riders, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “The MBTA will need to change the way it does business and the Legislature will have to remove unnecessary restrictions if the T is to modernize and consistently provide riders with high-quality service over time,” said Greg Sullivan, who co-authored “The […]

Study Calls for Tying Additional State Education Aid to Reforms

Narrowing funding gap between high-income and less affluent districts should be focus of school funding formula update Contact Jamie Gass at jgass@pioneerinstitute.org Read coverage of this report in The Boston Globe and the Springfield Republican. BOSTON – Efforts to update the Commonwealth’s K-12 education funding formula should focus on narrowing the gap between affluent and low-income school districts and be accompanied by reforms designed to improve student outcomes and enhance accountability, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “Tying new money to high standards and accountability was the grand bargain at the heart of the Commonwealth’s successful 1993 Education Reform Act,” said Jamie Gass, director of Pioneer’s Center for School Reform, who co-authored “The Next Chapter of Education […]

Pioneer Alert: Supreme Court Will Rule on Highly Significant School Choice Case

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) announced that it would hear Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a case that reveals the harm a state Blaine, or anti-aid, constitutional amendment marked by religious bias does to families by depriving them of educational options. This case has particular relevance to Massachusetts, which is one of the nearly 40 states with anti-aid amendments that have roots in 19th-century anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant discrimination.     Kendra Espinoza, a single mom from Montana, sought a better education for her daughters. In public school, one daughter was bullied and the other struggled academically. Both would later thrive in a parochial school. After the Montana Supreme Court struck down her state’s education tax credit program, Ms. Espinoza was denied access to the scholarships her […]

Report: Rare Disease Patients Hurt by “One-Size-Fits-All” ICER Framework

This op-ed appeared in ICERWatch on June 26, 2019. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review and its controversial “one-size-fits-all” value framework are a direct threat to rare disease patients, an independent report warns. In its newly-released report, “Looming Challenges for ICER in Assessing the Value of Rare Disease Therapies,” the independent Pioneer Institute identifies a troubling pattern of ICER ignoring the needs of patients living with rare diseases and details how the cost appraiser systematically undervalues innovative treatments for chronic and complex conditions. “Patients with complex and rare diseases have much to be hopeful for as our knowledge expands and more innovative and specialty therapies come to market,” explains Dr. William Smith, the report’s author and a visiting fellow on life sciences at […]

New Report Addresses Distinct Challenges in Utilizing ICER to Assess Value of Rare Disease Treatments

Pioneer Institute Discourages Policymakers & Payers from Adopting ICER to Evaluate Rare Disease Treatments Media inquiries: Contact Micaela Dawson, 617-723-2277 ext. 203 or mdawson@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON, MA – Today, Pioneer Institute released a new report, Looming Challenges for ICER in Assessing the Value of Rare Disease Therapies, that examines why the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) and the Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) approach to value assessment is particularly ill-suited to assess the cost-effectiveness of orphan and rare disease treatments, which represent a rapidly growing sector of the biopharmaceutical marketplace. In the report, lead author and Pioneer Institute Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences, Dr. William Smith illustrates a number of reasons why ICER is unfit to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of rare […]

Pioneer Institute Public Statement: A Season for Management Reforms

The MBTA’s red and green line derailments this week highlight the system’s troubling condition and its impact on riders’ productivity and quality of life. We at Pioneer – most of us are regular riders – understand how vital the T is to our economy. Through many administrations, Pioneer has advocated for policymakers to address the T’s performance issues, stemming from decades of insufficient maintenance, poor management structure, and lack of a clear investment strategy. February 2015 brought nine feet of snow in a single month, laying bare the T’s inability to plan and execute at the most basic level. Only two weeks into those storms, Pioneer issued a public statement that outlined reforms that would be passed in July of that […]