Massachusetts passes healthcare spending limit

Massachusetts yesterday passed a landmark bill, aimed at curbing healthcare spending by as much as $200 billion over the next 15 years, The Boston Globe reported. Believed to be the first state-based prevention fund in the country, according to another Globe article, the legislation sets a goal of healthcare spending to grow no faster than the state economy overall through 2017, about 3.7 percent this year. And hospitals and health plans that exceed the target must explain why and develop performance improvement plans.

Some hospital leaders remain skeptical, saying the legislation will drive up overall costs.

Massachusetts Hospital Association President and CEO Lynn Nicholas said in a statement that the association is "opposed to the imposition of surcharge assessments on hospitals and will continue to advocate that the additional cost of implementing the bill not be placed upon providers who are already underpaid by government payers and working diligently to lower costs."