Metro

Key provisions of the cost-control bill

The Legislature’s 350-page health care cost-control bill creates dozens of new programs and requirements.

Key provisions include:

  Establishing annual health care cost growth benchmarks, equal to or slightly below the overall growth of the state’s economy.

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  Creating two semi-independent offices to collect and analyze cost information from insurers and providers, to ensure they are meeting benchmarks, and to work with them if their spending is excessive.

  Assessing insurers and providers $225 million to help financially troubled community hospitals, ­improve public health, and help providers adopt electronic medical records.

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  Attempting to reduce medical malpractice lawsuits by creating a 182-day “cooling-off period” for settlement talks before a ­patient can sue and allowing providers to apologize for an error without having the admission be used against them in court.

  Directing insurers to disclose out-of-pocket costs in advance of a patient obtaining medical care and posting provider prices on a state website to enable consumers to comparison shop.

 Encouraging insurers to adopt budget-minded systems for paying providers, and providers to form large accountable care organizations to coordinate all of a patient’s medical care.

Liz Kowalczyk can be reached at
kowalczyk@globe.com.
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