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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.

■   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.

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■   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.