Virus Outbreak Massachusetts

With inflation causing the cost of living to rise in ways unseen in a generation, state policymakers are still trying to figure out how to keep the expanding cost of healthcare in Massachusetts under control.

In their sixth annual meeting to mull over the cost of medicine, the state’s top healthcare cost regulators appeared alongside lawmakers Wednesday to begin the process of setting a new benchmark for how much medical spending will be allowed to rise in 2023. The Health Policy Commission is the state watchdog agency charged with monitoring health costs in Massachusetts, setting a benchmark for costs and weighing in when providers don’t meet the mark.

Members of the commission, alongside the House and Senate Health Care Cost Committee, heard from Dr. Aditi Sen, the director of research and policy at the Health Care Cost Institute. Sen said spending increases in the health sector are a national problem driven mostly by increasing cost of care.

Sen told the panels the impact of high costs go beyond the pocketbook and become real barriers to the care many Americans need when premiums and co-pays go up.

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