Commission on health pricing in Massachusetts issues final report

Senator Welch: Legislature may act on recommendations during current session

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A state commission led by West Springfield State Senator James Welch spent the last six months studying why prices can vary among hospitals. The final report calls for base rates that would benefit lower-paid community hospitals.

The report maintains that higher quality health providers and facilities that care for sicker patients should be able to charge more for services. The commission found that a hospital’s brand, market power and location shouldn’t be factors in pricing.

Senator Welch told 22News that lawmakers need to take action to protect patients from getting “surprise” medical bills in the mail; “Transparency is certainly something that will help consumers make better decisions, especially from a quality standpoint and from a cost standpoint.”

Senator Welch also said that the state legislature will likely take up a bill this session to give the state more control over hospital pricing.