Massachusetts bill attempts to curb health care spending

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While it does not have strong enforcement built into the bill, the Massachusetts bill has provisions with many different cost-cutting strategies. The bill include a call for parity for mental health services, increased use of health IT and the adoption of new payment delivery models, such as accountable care organizations. Another important provision establish a 182-day cooling-off period in malpractice litigation.

It is estimated that this bill will save the state of Massachusetts over 200 billion dollars over the next 15 years. While this bill is not yet law, Gov. Deval Patrick, who pushed hard for legislators to come up with a compromise before the session ended, said in a statement that he planned to sign the bill. It will be interesting to see how this experiment is cutting costs works. Aspects of the bill that are successful will likely be repeated by other states, and how this works out may change many of the payment paradigms that exist in health care today.

Different perspectives on this bill can be viewed at the following web sites:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/aug2012/mass-a06.shtml
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/opinion/sunday/massachusetts-takes-on-...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/massachusetts-health-care-cost_...
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/July/31/mass-health-cost-co...