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.
■ 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.
■ 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