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Charlie Baker

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Mass. governor confronts Medicaid cost spiral


The Massachusetts State House.

Companies in Massachusetts that don’t offer their employees health insurance would pay a $2,000 annual assessment per full-time worker to the state under a plan that Gov. Charles Baker will offer to address rising enrollment-driven costs in the state’s Medicaid program.

The proposal would also impose growth caps on the rates that providers can charge for medical services. It’s part of a bid to control the cost of care in the commercial market and make it more affordable for employers, the State House News Service reported.

Among the other proposed changes are a moratorium on new coverage mandates and ending vision and non-emergency transportation benefits – excluding those involving mental-health and substance-abuse disorders – for members of MassHealth CarePlus program, which covers those who became eligible for subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

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Mass. sets up Digital Healthcare Council

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has established the Digital Healthcare Council to guide policy about the  burgeoning digital healthcare industry in the state, which is an internationally renown technology center.

The advisory council, which stems from  the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative, launched last January, will bring together leaders from academia, government, healthcare delivery, insurance, life sciences, medical devices  to discuss how digital technology can improve healthcare, increase the number of high-paying jobs in the state and reduce  healthcare costs.

“For Massachusetts to become a national leader in digital health, we need to continue to build on the momentum our Digital Health Initiative has already produced,” said Governor Baker. “This council will collaborate to move past barriers in the healthcare industry and solve significant challenges to make advances in patient care, lower healthcare costs and address public health crises, like the opioid epidemic.”


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