Physician Group Reacts to Health Cost Legislation

Massachusetts doctors are reacting to the health cost control bill that has been sent to the governor’s desk.

The bill requires providers to slow down the rate at which they raise their prices — linking it to the state’s economic growth rate. It also addresses the ways insurers compensate doctors for their services, and changes the medical malpractice climate.  The Massachusetts Medical Society released a statement saying the legislation mostly succeeds in balancing the role of government as a watchdog over affordability of healthcare, with the rights of the private sector. But society president Richard Aghababian says many physicians are concerned about new administrative burdens as doctors will be required to report regularly on the cost of their services.

Aghababian says doctors are pleased by the bill’s emphasis on primary care as a way to improve patient care, but he says they’re concerned about the new responsibilities given to physician assistants and retail clinics to coordinate care.