Statement from Dr. Stuart Altman, Chair, Massachusetts Health Policy Commission on CHIA Report
“The CHIA report has mixed news, reporting both positive trends in the market and areas for concern, chief among them, that health care expenditures in the Commonwealth grew at a much higher rate than the cost growth benchmark, set by the Health Policy Commission last year at 3.6%. On the positive side, the quality of Massachusetts providers is high, the number of patients whose care was paid for using new value-based payment methods in the commercial market is increasing, and the state continues to experience low rates of growth in Medicare and private health care spending. However, even with these positive trends the burden of health care spending on employers and consumers alike is increasing, with reported growth in consumer out-of-pocket costs and employer health insurance premiums.
The bottom line is we need to know more about why and where costs are increasing, especially in MassHealth, which experienced significant growth in both spending and enrollment, and in prescription drug spending, which grew at double-digit rates across the board. The HPC is anxious to dive deeper into the data and these policy issues at the next HPC board meeting and the 2015 Health Cost Trends Hearing in October. Through these public forums, and our ongoing policy development and programs, the HPC will continue to push the industry to find solutions to create a more transparent and affordable health care system on behalf of consumers and businesses in Massachusetts.”
The HPC is an independent state agency that monitors reform in the health care delivery and payment systems and develops policies to reduce overall cost growth while improving the quality of patient care. To learn more, please visit www.mass.gov/hpc or follow us on Twitter @Mass_HPC.