Mass. Lawmakers Unveil Bill To Cut Health Costs
Legislature expected to vote on compromise today.
The Wall Street Journal: Massachusetts Set For Health-Care Vote
Massachusetts lawmakers are expected to vote Tuesday on long-awaited legislation to rein in health care costs. The effort, which would put the state again at the forefront of health policy, will be watched by other states looking to control spiraling costs. After months of debate, House and Senate leaders filed a bipartisan compromise bill of more than 350 pages Monday night that would seek to contain health-care costs by setting a target at which overall state health spending should rise (Levitz, 7/30).
Kaiser Health News: Mass. Aims To Set First-In-Nation Health Care Spending Target
Massachusetts leads the nation once again, this time with Phase II of health reform. A 350-page bill expected to be voted on Tuesday sets the first statewide target for health care spending in the U.S. Massachusetts would aim to hold health care cost increases to same rate as the state's economy through 2017. Specifically, health care costs could not rise faster than the Gross State Product from 2013 to 2017 (Bebinger, 7/30).
Boston Globe: Bill Aims To Curb Health Spending In Massachusetts
Supporters believe the bill will help moderate increases in insurance premiums for consumers and businesses. While the measure does not spell out specific cuts, health providers are expected to expand efforts already underway to slow the proliferation of some medical procedures, better coordinate care to keep patients healthier and out of the hospital, and steer patients to lower-cost caregivers. Providers and insurers that do not meet the spending targets would have to submit "performance improvement plans" to a new state commission. Failure to implement their plans could lead to a fine of up to $500,000 (Kowalczyk, 7/31).