Massachusetts and Maryland: A study in health price contrasts

Maryland and Massachusetts: an exercise in opposites. Maryland has consistently had the lowest increase in health costs, while Massachusetts has consistently, well, not. Why is that? Here’s a government spreadsheet showing the size of average deductibles. VT $1,570, CT $1,331, NY $908 TX $1,374, ME $1,408 MD $787, with Maryland hanging around North Dakota. Meanwhile, […]

A move to let government set health-care prices

Massachusetts wants to allow government to fix health-care prices in some cases. We’re watching closely. “Here’s a pretty simple explanation for all the price variation: hospitals negotiate specific rates for specific insurance companies,” Sarah Kliff writes on Wonkblog at The Washington Post. “They gauge the size of the insurance company and how many patients it […]

Back to Massachusetts: Legislating health costs

Massachusetts is trying to change the way doctors, hospitals and other providers are paid, according to an article in The New York Times. The state legislature is working on bills that would make flat “global payments” to providers to keep patients well. This would replace the current system, which charges fees for every service provided, […]

Massachusetts: Cost-cutting strategies aren’t working

Massachusetts: Cost-cutting strategies aren’t working

Massachusetts has been in the forefront of health reform. So it was dispiriting to learn in a Massachusetts health reform report issued June 22 that the state’s test of one of the most-hoped-for reforms changes has failed to cut costs. In fact, most of the news in the report was relatively gloomy: it suggested that […]