Representative Steve Walsh, a Democrat from Lynn who helped to draft the state’s first-in-the-nation health care cost control legislation in 2012, has been named executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals. Walsh will start the new role in March, when he is expected to resign the House seat he has held since 2002.
Walsh stepped down Tuesday morning from his role as co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. In that role, he had worked with veteran lawmaker Senator Richard Moore to draft legislation that set a limit on spending by doctors and hospitals in the state.
The Boston Globe Magazine named Walsh a 2012 Bostonian of the Year for his work on the health care cost containment law.
Walsh talked throughout that process about the need to help the state’s beleaguered community hospitals attract patients in order to keep costs down. Those facilities provide a high quality of care but are losing market share to bigger teaching hospitals, he said Tuesday.
“In order for the health care system to work, our community hospitals have to survive and thrive,” he said Tuesday. “I think they are really at a crossroads.”
The Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals represents 17 community hospitals in the state on payment issues before the Legislature and with insurers.