The joint Committee on Health Care Financing recently held a hearing on Governor Patrick’s health care payment reform legislation. The Governor’s bill, An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Controlling Costs by Reforming the Health Systems and Payments, includes provisions promoting the growth of accountable care organizations (ACOs--groups of providers that work together to achieve improved health outcomes for patients at lower costs). The legislation also provides standards and guidance for the transition away from the current fee-for-service system of payments to alternative or global payments. The Chamber submitted testimony on this legislative proposal.
The Chamber believes that the move to ACOs should be a voluntary, market-based transition with incentives that reward high quality and efficient health care. Measures that do more harm than good, such as rate setting, rate caps, or rate freezes should be avoided. To make payment reform a success, healthcare consumers, providers and payers must work together to implement global payments in ways that bring health care costs under control while preserving health care quality.
The Chamber will continue to work with the Governor and his Administration, the Senate President, the Speaker and members of the Legislature to advance health care payment reform in the months ahead.