On August 6, 2012, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the health care cost containment legislation. This second phase of Massachusetts’ health care reform emphasizes the transition of a health care system that pays providers based on volume to one that provides incentives for better coordination of care by avoiding costly hospital re-admissions, keeping patients healthy through preventive and wellness services, and ensuring that patients receive only the care they need and want. The first phase of Massachusetts’ landmark health care reform legislation, passed in 2006, ensured that every resident in the state would be able to obtain health care coverage. Massachusetts has been quite successful in that endeavor with 98% of residents being covered.
This landmark cost containment legislation affirms Massachusetts’ leadership in consumer-focused health care innovation and contains a few key provisions which are of interested to the shared decision making community: