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David_morales Posted by: David Morales, Commissioner, Division of Health Care Finance and Policy

Earlier this week, the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy held the first of its health care cost hearings which focused on the urgency of escalating health care costs and the implications for consumers and employers.  Today’s hearing will focus on understanding the causes and reasons behind those rising health care costs. 

The hearing will begin with expert testimony from Dr. Stephen Schoenbaum, Executive Vice President for Programs at the Commonwealth Fund, on Creating the Framework for High Performing Organizations.  A panel composed of various health care providers and health system administrators and payers will then provide testimony about efficiencies in the delivery system.  The topics that will be covered include coordination of care, market dynamics, transitions of care and prevention, among others. 

The afternoon will begin with testimony from Dr. Paul Ginsburg, President of the Center for Studying Health System Change on Understanding Cost Drivers in the Health Care System.  This will be followed by a panel that includes an additional group of health care providers, payers, and administrators who will focus on the major health care cost drivers in the system.   The panelists will discuss issues around increasing prices and price variation, the role of the setting for treatment, price and quality transparency and the virtues and challenges of various payment models, among others. 

The hearing begins at 9 a.m. at the Joseph P. Healey Library University Club, 11th floor, University of Massachusetts Boston.  These hearings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to participate in this critical conversation about how the health care community can work together and develop concrete solutions to lower rising health care costs.  A detailed agenda for today’s hearing as well as the names and affiliations of panel participants, moderators and expert witnesses can be found at http://www.mass.gov/dhcfp/costtrends

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