BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Health care is expensive, and can be out of reach for many Massachusetts families. Health care is the most expensive item in the state budget. It costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
A 23 member commission is trying to figure out why Massachusetts hospitals charge different prices for similar procedures and services. They’re trying to determine whether a hospital’s location plays a role in pricing and whether the state needs to develop regulations to control costs.
Chair of the legislature’s Healthcare Financing Committee, West Springfield state Senator James Welch, told 22News, services at teaching hospitals tend to be more expensive. Welch continued to say it’s important for consumers to know all of their health care options.
Senator Welch also said, “They have a tendency to think that the best place to go is always to Boston hospital and that’s not always necessarily the case. We do have great institutions here in western Massachusetts.”
The panel has until March to come up with final recommendations and to draft legislation.