Massachusetts Health Reform Bill Tackles Cost Control and More

August 1, 2012
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The Massachusetts legislature is voting today on “An Act improving the quality of health care and reducing costs through increased transparency, efficiency and innovation” reported out of conference committee at the eleventh hour, last night.  The headlines include:

1.    The health care cost growth rate may not exceed growth of the “gross state product” (GSP) for five years, and must be between the GSP and .5% below the GSP for the next five.

The Massachusetts legislature is voting today on “An Act improving the quality of health care and reducing costs through increased transparency, efficiency and innovation” reported out of conference committee at the eleventh hour, last night.  The headlines include:

1.    The health care cost growth rate may not exceed growth of the “gross state product” (GSP) for five years, and must be between the GSP and .5% below the GSP for the next five.

2.    Certification programs for Patient Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations.

3.    Transparency and accoutnability for cost and quality.

4.    Investment in wellness and in community hospitals.

5.    Med-mal reform including a 6-month coooling off period and inadmissibility of medical apologies in court proceedings.

The full text of the bill, and a summary, are set forth below.

A return to central health planning?  Not quite, but certainly more heavily regulated than things are at the moment.  Is that a bad thing?  Well, consider how the free-market approach has been working out: overall, we’ve seen a high-cost, low-quality experience (relatively speaking) that could use some help.  Is this the panacea we need?  Too soon to tell. But we surely cannot stick with the status quo.

MA Health Care Reform Bill – Summary

 

MA Health Care Reform Bill S 2400 7 30 2012