The Health Safety Net (HSN) Audit Unit, created by Section 1 of Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2004, oversees and examines practices in Massachusetts’ hospitals that include – but are not limited to – the care of the uninsured and the resulting free care charges. The Health Safety Net Audit Unit provides assistance to the Inspector General on all issues related to hospital practices and costs, including those practices and costs affecting the Commonwealth’s ability to provide and subsidize health insurance benefits to the uninsured.

As the cost of providing health care has grown, the Office has explored cost containment and reimbursement issues related to the HSN, MassHealth (both fee for service and the managed care organizations), the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority, and the private insurance market. 

The efforts of the Office focus on claims and eligibility editing, inappropriate reimbursements, and primary care delivery in the HSN. For MassHealth, the Office examines the issues of reimbursement, MassHealth cost containment, and program integrity. In private insurance, the Office has looked at premium regulation, global payments and alternative quality contracts.