Mission to bring down health care costs begins

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — With the goal of saving Massachusetts $200 billion dollars in health care costs over the next 15 years, a new state agency, the Health Policy Commission, held its first meeting Friday at the State House.  They have the daunting task of implementing the state’s new health care cost control bill.

“The responsibilities of this Commission are very substantial and you know if you’re like me, after you’ve read this, you said did I really agree to do this?” said Health Policy Commission Chairman Dr. Stuart Altman.

Their first great challenge will be in getting all the hospitals, health clinics and other health providers in Massachusetts registered in a state database. 

“The very first step to ensuring we can work effectively with all of the healthcare providers across the state to ensure we’re bringing down costs is to know who they all are,” said Admin & Finance Sec. Jay Gonzalez.

They will also have to establish growth benchmarks for health care costs, implement certification standards for Accountable Care Organizations, and oversee various funds like the Health Care Payment Reform Fund that is expected to receive money from casino license revenue.

“A portion of that one time gaming license will be transferred into the Health Care Payment Reform Fund to support both the operations of the Health Policy Commission and to support a competitive grant program that the HPC may run,” said David Seltz, Governor Deval Patrick’s health care cost control advisor.

In the next few weeks, the Commission will also be busy with administrative work like finding office space and hiring new staff, including an executive director.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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