Q&A: MA Lawmaker on Cost Containment

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , August 22, 2012

After you've blazed a trail and made near-universal healthcare coverage a state law, what do you do for an encore?

If you're Massachusetts, you mandate cost containment.

In July the Massachusetts legislature passed a landmark bill, S 2400, touted as the first effort by a state to rein in healthcare costs. The bill, now law, links increases in healthcare spending to the state's gross state product and is expected to help reduce healthcare spending by $200 billion over 15 years.

The law holds providers and payers responsible for healthcare spending increases with outliers facing fines as high as $500,000 if they fail to meet performance targets.

Sen. Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge) chairs the Senate Committee on Healthcare Financing and was the primary author of S 2400. He was also the primary author of the original healthcare reform law signed by then Governor Mitt Romney in 2006, as well as the major updates enacted in 2008 and 2010.

Sen. Moore recently spoke with HealthLeaders Media about how the state's efforts to contain healthcare costs and the role providers and payers will play in the effort.

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