NOV. 17, 2021 – Health care spending in Massachusetts grew 4.3 percent from 2018 to 2019, marking the second consecutive year that the increase outpaced a state target and prompting the HPC to recommend a series of policy moves including price caps for the most expensive providers, greater scrutiny around hospital outpatient and ambulatory care expansions, new affordability standards for health plans and a reduction in pharmaceutical drug spending.

The commission’s cost trends report also suggested improving access to behavioral health services and focusing investment in primary and behavioral health care, topics Gov. Charlie Baker addressed at the hearing in pre-recorded comments…

…Health Care for All Executive Director Amy Rosenthal, one of the advocates who testified at the hearing, said the state should pursue a “multi-pronged approach” to tackling rising costs, while keeping equity at the forefront and making sure savings are passed on to consumers.

She said her group “supports passing legislative reforms that closely align with the Health Policy Commission’s recommendations, including eliminating co-pays for services and treatments for chronic conditions that disproportionately impact communities of color, enhancing transparency in the rate review process, establishing a consumer benchmark to control out-of-pocket costs and premiums, passing prescription drug reform legislation and reining in the highest cost hospitals.”

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