Individuals, families, businesses and governments have all been struggling with the unsustainable growth in health care costs.  This year the legislature made significant strides towards resolving this crisis by passing “H4127 An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care Costs and Reducing Costs through Increased Transparency, Efficiency, and Innovation.”  This legislation addresses several areas that will collectively save the Commonwealth 160 billion dollars over the next fifteen years.  We spent many months carefully balancing the need for reform without harming the Commonwealth’s number one employment sector while crafting this bill.  This new legislation aims to promote innovation and reward quality outcomes through the following means:

  • Creates new Health Care Payment Models moving away from fee for service
  • Promotes Efficiency through Electronic Medical Record Interoperability
  • Ties health care growth to Gross State Product -.05% making cost increases predictable
  • Increases Medicaid/Medicare Rates to Doctors
  • Adopts new Medical Malpractice Policy reducing litigation
  • Requires Consumers to have active participation in their care, creating system transparency

Massachusetts is renowned for our world class health care facilities.  We are the first state with universal coverage for our residents, and we will continue to be leaders in innovation and quality while showing the rest of the nation that quality health care can be affordable.

Substance Abuse Recovery

In recent years, the Commonwealth has faced an epidemic of opiate addiction. In order to combat this, the legislature passed S. 2142, “An Act to Increase Opportunities for Long-Term Substance Abuse Recovery,” providing much-need services to those facing the crippling struggle of addiction. The bill provides a continuum of care and removes barriers that stand in the way of effective treatment through the following of means:

  • Requires the Drug Formulary Commission to prepare a drug formulary of chemically equivalent substitutions, which must include abuse deterrent properties and must take into consideration cost and accessibility for consumers.
  • Authorizes the Department of Health to schedule a substance as Schedule I for up to one year if it poses an imminent hazard to public safety and is not already listed in a different schedule.
  • Strengthens the Prescription Monitoring Program
  • Creates a commission to review prescription painkiller limitations by insurance carriers
  • Provides increased access to care and improves the standard of care by removing prior authorization for substance abuse treatment if the provider is certified or licensed by DPH

The prevalence of substance abuse in Massachusetts hurts families and burdens the taxpayers. This legislation provides the necessary services to help those most in need of it. By addressing the issue now, the Commonwealth can not only save millions in potentially lost revenue but can also save lives.

I have spent countless hours throughout my first term in office learning more about a very complex issue.  The savings that will be realized from the changes we have made to the health care industry are significant.  These savings will allow families to more easily pay their mortgages and allow small businesses to hire more employees or buy new equipment.  Cities and Towns will be able to keep teachers in our classrooms and police and firemen on our streets.  I was privileged to have served as an active member of the Committee that brought this legislation forward