Massachusetts Special Commission Proposes Abolition of Traditional Fee-For-Service Health Care Payment Model and Adoption of Global Payments


On July 16, 2009, the Massachusetts Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System (“the Commission”) released its final report, in which it recommends abolishing the traditional “fee-for-service” (“FFS”) payment model for all public and private payers in Massachusetts, and replacing FFS with a “global payments” model. Under a global payments model, health care providers would be compensated prospectively for most (or all) of the care their patients will receive over a set contractual period. As Massachusetts would be the first state in the nation to eliminate FFS for both public and private payers, this proposal would, if implemented, constitute a significant change in how health care is delivered and reimbursed. Additionally, the Massachusetts payment reforms could provide a model for national payment reform initiatives. Understanding the Commission’s recommendations is therefore crucial for anyone involved in the health care, insurance, biotechnology, or drug and device sectors.

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