• Massachusetts stakeholders’ consensus on principles of payment reform

    From CommonHealth:

    [B]elieve it or not, the state panel made up of all kinds of “stakeholders,” from hospitals to doctors to patients to insurers, has actually reached a broad if not perfect consensus on twelve goals for payment reform. […]

    [However s]everal members pointed out that the consensus was possible because some of the hardest issues had been skirted, to wit: Will providers’ participation in global payment arrangements be voluntary? What powers will a new global-payment oversight committee have, and who will be on it? To what extent will the state seek to set rates that global payment groups can charge? In sum, how sharp are the state’s teeth going to be?

    State Inspector General Gregory Sullivan said that in his opinion, the committee’s consensus “does not include what I would consider the necessary elements to actually control the rising cost of health care.” Under current global payment plans, he said, rates keep going up for a total of 50% over the next five years. For Massachusetts families, that would translate into a rise in their average premiums from $16,500 now to $25,000 in five years, he said.

    For the twelve agreed-upon goals, see the CommonHealth post. I’ve tasted stronger tea.

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