Post Content

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

Health care costs are a critical issue facing the Commonwealth as individuals, families, and employers, as well as state and local government, are all struggling under the weight of high and rapidly rising costs of health care.  Without immediate action, economists estimate that the proportion of family income devoted to health insurance could rise to more than a third of median family income by 2016. This trend is unsustainable and underscores the need for immediate action in order to change this trajectory.

A little-noticed initiative is unfolding at the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy that will help to better inform businesses and consumers about health care costs and help them to understand what medical services cost and how much we pay for them in Massachusetts.  The Division is required by law to develop a robust health care claims database, which would offer full transparency.

Today, the Division will propose draft regulations to collect – in one central database – all inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, and dental claims from fully-insured and self-insured health plans, Medicare, and Medicaid sources.  For the first time in the state’s history, this all-payer claims database – or APCD – will offer like never-before, a broad understanding of health care costs and medical service utilization across institutions and populations. 


Essentially, the APCD will serve as a clearinghouse for comprehensive quality and cost information that will help consumers, employers, insurers, and government have the necessary data to make prudent health care purchasing decisions; and in that way help to lower costs by encouraging them to use high-quality, more efficient providers. 

An added benefit of an APCD is that it would help to lower administrative costs for both government and insurers because it could serve as the central point for all health care claims.  Today, multiple agencies make routine requests of such data and drive up unnecessary administrative costs that in turn add to the cost of premiums.

Lastly, the APCD will serve as a valuable resource for researchers and other private sector organizations who seek to develop efficient, innovative ways of delivering health care in low-cost, integrated settings.

As we prepare to hold public hearings in late spring, we welcome your participation, questions, and comments. For more information about the APCD public hearings, please visit www.mass.gov/dhcfp, subscribe to our electronic mailing list by emailing dhcfp.newsletter@state.ma.us, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/masshealthcare.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, March 24, 2017 posted on Mar 24

The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness increased slightly in the past seven days, following a drop in those rates during the previous week. Flu can be unpredictable, but the one thing we know for certain is that flu season isn’ t over   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 24, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins the Race! posted on Mar 20

Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

How to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals this National Nutrition Month! By Campbell Reiff It’s March, and you know what that means – spring is here!  March is not only the month for the change in seasons, but is also National Nutrition Month! This month, the   …Continue Reading Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017 posted on Mar 17

Rates of flu-like illness rebounded slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. Regardless of the swings from week to week, it’s important to note that we can expect to see flu continuing to circulate in our communities well into springtime.   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017