This Special Commission was a statutory requirement created in the Small Business Health Care Cost Containment legislation of 2010 - Section 67 of Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010. The Commission was charged with investigating the rising cost of health care insurance and the impact of reimbursement rates paid by health insurers to providers. In addition, the Commission was required to examine policies aimed at enhancing competition, fairness and cost-effectiveness in the health care market though the reduction of reimbursement disparities.
The Commission was made up of 10 members, including 3 ex-officio members (Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez, Commissioner of the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy Aron Boros and Executive Director of the Group Insurance Commission Dolores Mitchell), the Chairs of the Health Care Finance Committee, and 5 appointees by Governor Patrick:
- Lynn Nicholas, Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA)
- Eric Linzer, Massachusetts Association of Health Plans
- Patrick Gilligan, Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation
- Dr. Amitabh Chandra, Health Economist
- Dr. Gene Lindsey, Massachusetts Medical Society
As required by the Legislature, this Commission voted on a report to make recommendations on limiting variation in provider pricing. The report includes 6 recommendations aimed at enhancing competition, fairness, and cost-effectiveness in the health care market though the reduction of reimbursement disparities:
1. Act upon the recommendations of the Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System to change the way we pay for and deliver health care services to improve the quality of care and reduce costs.
2. Increase transparency related to price variation.
3. Ensure competitive market behavior.
4. Evaluate the use and effect of products that increase consumer incentives to make cost effective health care decisions.
5. Research acceptable and unacceptable factors for variation and then determine how they could be applied to reduce unacceptable variation in provider prices.
6. Establish a short-term process to ensure that higher prices more closely correlate to quality and thereby reduce costs.
Report Appendices (PDF) file size 5MB