Not everyone is familiar with the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) as Commissioner David Morales readily admits. But, this state agency is trying to drive health care cost control reform as much as anyone in the state. Alongside Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and private industry studies such as the McKinsey study cited in earlier blogs, DHCFP is exposing the truth about rising health care costs: the biggest driver is that hospitals and doctors are getting paid much more money. Their prices have been escalating in part due to unfair competition according to AG Coakley as well as Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy.
Commission Morales recently blogged about one answer to these health care pricing problems: the need to involve consumers in transforming the health care delivery system. Commissioner Morales argues that consumers need an easy means to access data about health care outcomes and costs. He added in his Massachusetts Health Care Cost Trends 2010 report that health insurers need to create and effectively market health insurance products with select networks of high performing providers. By this means, consumers (and their employers who choose their health insurance plans) can select lower cost providers with the best outcomes free from the distraction of “name brand” reputations or heavy advertising campaigns which more often drive consumer choice at much higher total cost to society.