"I congratulate the Legislature for approving legislation to contain healthcare costs," Deval said in a statement. "With over 98% of our residents insured today, we've shown the nation how to extend coverage to everyone. Now, we are poised to do the same on controlling costs."
Lawmakers had introduced cost-containment bills in the House and the Senate earlier this year. The current version of the bill, released Monday, will set the potential healthcare cost growth rate as the same as Massachusetts' gross state product from 2013 to 2017. The estimated gross state product for 2013 is 3.6%.
The potential growth rate will be slightly lower from 2018 to 2022—about 0.5% below the projected gross state product.
In a statement, the Massachusetts Hospital Association said it was concerned about other healthcare cost factors, such as the aging population and obesity, which hospitals can't control. However, the association said it supports the bill's attention to payment reforms.
"In large part this legislation appears to achieve a balance that will advance meaningful payment and delivery-system reform," according to the MHA. "Its focus on patient-centered care and transparency is in line with recent healthcare system developments and offers great promise."
The bill also will establish certification processes for accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, track price variation among providers, provide $135 million to financially distressed hospitals in support of their transition to new payment and care-delivery models, and create a 182-day "cooling-off period" in medical-malpractice situations as well as allow providers to apologize to patients.