Mass. takes aim at healthcare costs

April 16, 2011 at 9:25 PM

BOSTON, April 16 (UPI) -- Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed controlling medical costs by moving away from the fee-for-service system.

Instead, medical teams would be paid a lump sum to provide all the care a patient needs, The Washington Post reported Friday. Patrick introduced a legislative package in February.

Almost all, 98 percent, of Massachusetts residents have health insurance, the highest rate in the country. The law signed by Gov. Mitt Romney was a model for President Obama's healthcare reform plan.

The state spends 15 percent more per person for healthcare than the national average. Patrick said that has to change.

The fee-for-service system gives healthcare providers an incentive to provide unnecessary and even harmful tests and procedures. Massachusetts officials have still not figured out the details of how a global payment system would work and how doctors who practice alone or in small groups would fit in.

"We are preparing ourselves to grapple with a certain amount of constructive disruption in the industry," Patrick told the Post in an interview. "It's a journey."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Joel Osteen heckled, 6 arrested during service at Houston megachurch
Ghost hunters discover woman's body at abandoned Mississippi hospital
Export-Import Bank ends operations as Congress failed to reauthorize
Walmart sorry for making Islamic State cake after rejecting Confederate flag cake
Wildfire burns at least 24 homes, 4,000 acres in central Washington