Statement of Attorney General Martha Coakley Regarding Passage of the Health Care Cost Containment Bill
“I applaud the legislature, particularly the leadership of Chairmen Walsh and Moore, as well as Senate President Murray and Speaker DeLeo, for this landmark health care bill. I also thank Governor Patrick for his leadership on this issue.
“The bill contains several important initiatives for which we advocated to improve the health care market and control costs, including: increased price transparency for consumers; a registration process to gather information about provider organizations; and oversight for those taking on risk contracts with insurers. It also includes a process to review the market and cost impact of growing provider organizations. These first-in-the-nation provisions will help ensure that consumers receive value for their health care dollars.
“This bill also wisely clarifies that DOI can enforce federal and state mental health parity laws, and requires health plans to submit certification of compliance of mental health parity laws to our office.
“Any meaningful effort to control costs must address the market leverage of providers, and this legislation ensures that our office will pay a critical role in those efforts. The bill sets forth a strong role for our office to carefully scrutinize market conduct, and then use our 93A authority and other tools when appropriate to address negative impacts on the marketplace. This is a role we will continue to play in a serious and meaningful way.
“This bill strikes the appropriate balance of allowing the marketplace to continue to grow and function while addressing the spiraling health care costs faced by businesses and individual consumers. We are committed to ensuring the fair and effective implementation of this new law, and are proud to be part of the effort as Massachusetts once again takes the lead in health care.”