Warning of a “spending problem” at Mass General Brigham, the Health Policy Commission on Tuesday both voted to require the hospital system to implement a performance improvement plan addressing its costs and said MGB’s expansion plans run counter to the state’s goals of controlling health spending growth.

Mass General Brigham, the state’s largest provider system, pushed back on both moves, saying the expansion comments “ignore the state’s crippling healthcare capacity crisis” and expressing disappointment with the performance-improvement plan directive.

The advocacy group Health Care for All urged the Department of Public Health to consider concerns raised by the HPC and “ultimately disapprove the DON ambulatory expansion request.”

“Additionally, Health Care For All commends the HPC for taking the important step of requiring Mass General Brigham to implement a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) to rein in excessive cost growth for its Partners Community Physician Organization,” executive director Amy Rosenthal said in a statement. “This is a critical test of whether our health care cost benchmark process can be an effective check on rising costs.”

Rosenthal said lawmakers should update the PIP process to make sure the commission has the tools it needs to monitor system costs. She said the HPC’s authority should be expanded to “review proposed hospital expansions, oversee increasing pharmaceutical costs and hold health insurers accountable for high consumer costs as well.”

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