Massachusetts Medical Society: Call to Action – Health Care Cost Bill

Call to Action – Health Care Cost Bill

The Medical Society released on Thursday, June 15th, a Call To Action to its membership urging them to contact their representatives to oppose House No. 4605, a health care cost containment bill released by the House Committee on Health Care

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has released a bill aimed at addressing rising health care costs that will instead increase the cost of medical practice and add to the mounting administrative burdens for physicians and their patients.

Specifically, the revised House cost containment bill (House No. 4605) proposes 25% physician licensure fee increases for each of the next two licensure periods, as well as a surcharge of $75 for each license. This would increase Massachusetts physician licensure fees to the second highest rate in the country, at more than $1,000 per year. In addition, this bill proposes to impose an 8.75% tax on office-based surgical centers, which have been consistently identified as providing the high-value care that the state should promote, not penalize. Adding this arbitrary expense to outpatient procedures would diminish the value associated with performing them away from the inpatient setting.

Further, the proposed bill adds to physicians' administrative burdens and threatens to jeopardize physicians' medical licenses upon failure to comply with onerous out-of-network billing disclosures that are far more stringent, complex and time-consuming than those of any other state that has tackled this issue.

MMS urges members to tell their representative that this health care cost containment bill misses the mark. Our patients deserve broad access to the highest quality, highest value care. Further burdening already overburdened physicians—the sector of the health care system that has consistently demonstrated the ability to control costs—is not the solution. We urge defeat of this bill.

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Sample Email to your Representative

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Dear Representative:

I am writing to you to share serious concerns regarding the newly released House health care bill. This bill is intended to contain health care costs, but it would instead add to mounting administrative and financial burdens, penalizing physician practices and interfering with the care we provide to our patients.  

Increasing taxes, fees, surcharges, and administrative requirements that are incompatible with the daily realities of our practice will neither help our patients, nor reduce health care costs in Massachusetts. For example, the provisions regarding out of network services would create tension and uncertainty over billing practices and could insert undue confusion into the health care system for physicians and patients alike.  

Therefore, I urge you to vote "No" on the revised House No. 4605.

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