Massachusetts legislation would surcharge hospital fees above statewide median
Late last week Boston.com’s White Coat Notes reported Massachusetts House leaders are proposing legislation that would create new state agency to monitor health spending and order reductions in hospital and doctor fees it finds excessive. Hospitals charging patients 20 percent or more above the comparable median statewide contracted price would be face a 10 percent tax surcharge that according to the article would support struggling hospitals. The California HealthCare Foundation’s CaliforniaHealthline has more details on the bill, H 4070.
Whatever happens in the Bay State bears watching inasmuch as its 2006 omnibus health care reforms served as a prototype for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Meanwhile, CaliforniaHealthline reports a California ballot initiative that if qualified for the November 2012 ballot would have limited hospital profit margins to 25 was dropped by its sponsor, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The California Hospital Association had termed the measure along with another SEIU-sponsored initiative requiring nonprofit hospitals provide at least five percent of their care on a charitable basis a “thinly veiled negotiating tactic.”