Massachusetts Health Reform, Part III

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Today, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick filed health care reform legislation that, if enacted, will take the Commonwealth to the next level, taking the third step in the process that began in 2006 with the universal coverage law, and continued in 2008 with the legislation directed at containing cost and improving quality. One of the provisions of the 2008 law established

a special commission on the health care payment system that shall investigate reforming and restructuring the system to provide incentives for efficient and effective patient-centered care and to reduce variations in the quality and cost of care.

The 2009 report of the special commission on the health care payment system was followed in 2010 by a report by the Office of the Attorney General and legislative hearings that focused on cost increases divorced from quality improvement. Also in 2010, the Governor was engaged in close combat with health insurers over rate increases.

2011 has brought a legislative proposal designed to implement recommendations of the special commission.

So can you guess what the Governor has proposed?

That's right -- ACOs for all.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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