KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Mass. Gov. To Unveil Payment Reform Plan

Gov. Deval Patrick's legislation is designed to reduce health care costs by paying doctors and hospitals in lump sums for overall patient care rather than on a procedure-by-procedure basis. In addition, bonuses would be linked to patient outcomes.

The Boston Globe: Mass. Gov. Unveils Plan To Curb Health Care Costs
Gov. Deval Patrick says spiraling insurance costs can be reined in by setting boundaries on the health care market through legislation. Patrick planned to unveil the legislation Thursday. The push to slow soaring costs in Massachusetts has intensified since the state passed its landmark 2006 health care law. About 98 percent of residents are now insured (LeBlanc, 2/17).

WBUR: Gov. Patrick To Propose Health Care Overhaul Bill
[Gov. Deval] Patrick's bill aims to reduce health care spending by putting most doctors and hospitals on a budget, with bonuses tied to their patients' health. A new state council would set rules for so called "global payments," and the administration is requesting more authority to limit health insurance rate increases (Bebinger, 2/17).

WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Extra! Extra! Twelve Points of Broad Agreement On Payment Reform!
We all expect prolonged if not endless wrangling about the next stage of health care reform in Massachusetts, the daunting challenge of containing costs and revamping the whole system from "fee for service," in which health care providers are paid for each procedure, to global payments, in which they've paid a lump sum for a patient's overall care. So today's big news is that, believe it or not, the state panel made up of all kinds of "stakeholders," from hospitals to doctors to patients to insurers, has actually reached a broad if not perfect consensus on twelve goals for payment reform. ... Several members pointed out that the consensus was possible because some of the hardest issues had been skirted (Goldberg, 2/16).

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