The initial purpose of the legislation was to put forward a plan to rein in the state’s ballooning healthcare costs, but a number of amendments were proposed that would add additional mandates and increase costs. As approved, the bill seeks to:
- Tackle rising drug costs by requiring pharmaceutical companies to submit their pricing information to the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis
- Reduce the number of patients who are readmitted for care within 30 days of discharge by requiring hospitals to come up with a plan to do so
- Study the cost of implementing a single-payer system similar to that of Vermont a few years ago
- License dental therapists to do common procedures, such as fillings and tooth extractions, in community areas
NFIB/MA believes that the Senate missed an opportunity to utilize more of the reforms passed earlier this year to rein in MassHealth costs and that a single-payer system would lead to higher taxes that will disproportionately burden small business owners.
The bill now goes to the House, where lawmakers may be planning to write their own bill with a narrower scope.