Blue Cross, Partners Finalize Deal To Slow Premium Hikes

Under pressure from state government, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Partners HealthCare have agreed to limit medical spending increases over the next three years.

If Blue Cross is your insurance company and you to go Partners hospitals, your premiums are still going to go up — just not as much. The insurance company and medical care provider have agreed to a so-called global payment system. They say it will reduce spending boosts over the next three years by $80 million annually.

"Look, this is a first step," said Jay McQuaide, a senior executive at Blue Cross. "We know we have much more to do to make quality health care more affordable."

But, he added: "This is real savings. It will be seen by individuals and employers in their premiums."

Partners hospitals are some of the most expensive in Massachusetts. McQuaide calls it an accomplishment to limit medical spending increases to about the rate of inflation.

This program aired on October 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Curt Nickisch Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.



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