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Report: Mass. must control health care spending

November 9, 2011

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BOSTON—A special commission charged with studying rising health care costs in Massachusetts is recommending the creation of an independent oversight panel to identify acceptable and unacceptable reasons for price variations in care based on which hospital or doctor is used.

The Special Commission on Provider Price Reform was created by lawmaker last year. It also recommends that state regulators be given the authority to settle price disputes between insurers and health care providers if the cost of a medical procedure exceeds the market-based median.

The commission released the recommendations Wednesday.

Rising costs threaten the stability of the state's landmark 2006 health care law.

According to the report, per capita health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to increase 70 percent from more than $10,000 in 2010 to nearly $18,000 in 2020.