On July 31, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill that seeks to limit the growth of healthcare costs in the state. Under the bill, healthcare costs would not be allowed to grow faster than the state's economy through 2017. For the next five years, any rise in healthcare costs would be required to state at least a half percentage point lower than the increase in the state's gross domestic product.
Proponents of the bill claim the provisions would save the state as much as $200 billion over the next 15 years. Other provisions in the bill include dedicating money collected from insurers to prevention efforts and encouraging the creation of accountable care organizations to coordinate patient care.
Massachusetts’ action comes after renewed discussion of the healthcare industry, including reports that have shown that the United States' cost for many health care services is significantly higher than in other countries. States grappling over whether and how to implement Medicaid expansion, insurance exchanges and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act are also faced with cost of care that has steadily crept up, outpacing inflation in many cases.
More coverage of the Massachusetts bill can be found here.