Ellen Zane – Leading Change at Tufts / NEMC
Dr. Laura Forbes
May 1st, 2013
Running head: Ellen Zane – Leading Change at Tufts / NEMC 2 The Boston area was a world-renowned destination for health care services. The Academic Medical Centers in Boston received $2.3 billion in National Institutes Health (NIH) research grant money. Hospitals in Massachusetts accumulated large amounts of debt in the 1970’s and the 1980’s as they refurbished older facilities, expanded services, and purchased expensive new technologies.
Describe the health care environment in Massachusetts.
Two years after enacting health-care reform to rein in costs, Massachusetts strengthened "certificate of need laws" that prevent hospitals and other providers from competing with high- cost, entrenched suppliers. The state now requires that ambulatory surgical centers and outpatient treatment facilities get permission from regulators before they can enter the market. Their rivals invariably lobby the regulators to block competition, and usually win. Instead of attacking the real causes of the explosion in costs -- the combination of overly generous state aid and a dearth of competition among hospitals and physician groups – Massachusetts is vilifying prestigious, non-profit insurers, and punishing them, believe it nor not, with price controls. The combination of heavily subsidized demand and tight, over-regulated supply is a textbook formula for perpetuating the big, chronic price increases that bedevil today's health-care system. Thirty-six states, from Florida to Georgia to Washington, have similar price- inflating laws on the books. The Obama bill does nothing to eliminate regulations that effectively cartelize the market.
The battle in Massachusetts may foreshadow the results of the new federal law. It threatens to mirror precisely the cycle...