Nation Eyes Bay State As Cost-Cutting Health Reform Plan Emerges


"There’s a bit of Bay State pride tied up in this,” said Brian Rosman, research director for the Boston-based advocacy group Health Care for All. “We were the first to figure out universal coverage. Now we want to be the first to crack health-care costs.”

The Post report touches on various aspect of the wide-ranging cost-cutting plan, expected to be out later this month:

The payment-reform law that Massachusetts will soon debate could create new incentives for doctors, hospitals and providers to participate in a payment system that looks a lot like the Alternative Quality Contract.

In February 2011, Gov. Deval L. Patrick (D) introduced legislation that would have moved all Massachusetts health-care providers to value-based payments (arrangements like the Alternative Quality Contract) by June 2015. A new government entity, created by the bill, would facilitate that change, setting various benchmarks and timelines...

The legislation that the Senate will ultimately consider stands to be significantly different from the governor’s original proposal. It is expected to include a hard cap on state health-care spending, which will probably be tethered to growth in the gross state product.

“The thing we know is that they plan to set a spending cap for health-care spending that will be linked to the gross state product, minus some percentage,” Bigby said. “Some say 0.5 percent, some say 1 percent, some say 2.”

Some groups have protested a spending cap that is lower than overall economic growth, contending that it could harm patients.

“We don’t feel that’s feasible,” Young said. “It’s very important for us to do cost control, but we also need physicians to have some say in the direction.”

This program aired on May 1, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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