Testimony In Support of Senate 604 and House 604, an Act to Increase Masshealth Rates, before the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) wishes to be recorded in support of S.604 and H. 604, “An Act To Increase MassHealth Rates.”  The MMS is grateful to Senator Michael Brady and Representative Michelle Dubois for filing this legislation.  

This bill would implement “pay parity” whereby MassHealth rates would be equal to or greater than Medicare rates for the same services.

For physicians, access to care is a top priority.  All physicians want consumers to have access to quality health care services, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.  But presently, MassHealth does not reimburse sufficiently to protect “physician viability”, that is the ability of a physician to maintain an office practice.  Reimbursing providers at approximately half of what Medicare pays does not cover the costs of providing services to Medicaid enrollees, and thus, serves as a disincentive to physicians and other health care providers participating in the MassHealth program. 

This bill ensure MassHealth patients access to care by requiring reimbursement levels to be sufficient to allow physician practices to sustainably treat their existing MassHealth patients, and accept new MassHealth patients.

We urge the Committee to report this legislation out favorably.

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