HCN News & Notes

Healthcare Workers, Advocates Call for Hospital Pricing Reforms

BOSTON — Healthcare workers and advocates with the Campaign for Fair Care will testify today in support of new hospital pricing reforms that aim to bolster Massachusetts’ community hospitals and save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance premiums.

Advocates say Massachusetts’ hospital pricing system provides excessive payments to a few wealthy academic medical centers and threatens community hospitals, drives down wages, and increases healthcare costs. The bill, “An Act Relative to Equitable Healthcare Pricing,” and a corresponding ballot question would address these inequities by requiring private health insurers to negotiate new contracts with expensive providers to bring greater fairness to healthcare prices, they say.

More specifically, the legislation and corresponding ballot initiative aims to prohibit healthcare providers and private health-insurance companies from entering into contracts that would pay hospitals more than 20{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} above or 90{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} below the average amount paid to similar healthcare providers for the same healthcare services.

The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing will hold a hearing on the bill and ballot initiative at the State House at 11 a.m.