Section 16. (a) The center shall publish an annual report based on the information submitted under sections 8, 9 and 10 concerning health care provider, provider organization and private and public health care payer costs and cost trends, section 13 of chapter 6D relative to market power reviews and section 15 relative to quality data. The center shall compare the costs and cost trends with the health care cost growth benchmark established by the health policy commission under section 9 of chapter 6D, analyzed by regions of the commonwealth, and shall detail: (1) baseline information about cost, price, quality, utilization and market power in the commonwealth’s health care system; (2) cost growth trends for care provided within and outside of accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes; (3) cost growth trends by provider sector, including but not limited to, hospitals, hospital systems, non-acute providers, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and durable medical equipment; (4) factors that contribute to cost growth within the commonwealth’s health care system and to the relationship between provider costs and payer premium rates; (5) the proportion of health care expenditures reimbursed under fee-for-service and alternative payment methodologies; (6) the impact of health care payment and delivery reform efforts on health care costs including, but not limited to, the development of limited and tiered networks, increased price transparency, increased utilization of electronic medical records and other health technology; (7) the impact of any assessments including, but not limited to, the health system benefit surcharge collected under section 68 of chapter 118E, on health insurance premiums; (8) trends in utilization of unnecessary or duplicative services, with particular emphasis on imaging and other high-cost services; (9) the prevalence and trends in adoption of alternative payment methodologies and impact of alternative payment methodologies on overall health care spending, insurance premiums and provider rates; (10) the development and status of provider organizations in the commonwealth including, but not limited to, acquisitions, mergers, consolidations and any evidence of excess consolidation or anti-competitive behavior by provider organizations; and (11) the impact of health care payment and delivery reform on the quality of care delivered in the commonwealth.
As part of its annual report, the center shall report on price variation between health care providers, by payer and provider type. The center’s report shall include: (1) baseline information about price variation between health care providers by payer including, but not limited to, identifying providers or provider organizations that are paid more than 10 per cent above or more than 10 per cent below the average relative price and identifying payers which have entered into alternative payment contracts that vary by more than 10 per cent; (2) the annual change in price variation, by payer, among the payer’s participating providers; (3) factors that contribute to price variation in the commonwealth’s health care system; (4) the impact of price variations on disproportionate share hospitals and other safety net providers; and (5) the impact of health reform efforts on price variation including, but not limited to, the impact of increased price transparency, increased prevalence of alternative payment contracts and increased prevalence of accountable care organizations and patient centered medical homes.
The center shall publish and provide the report to health policy commission at least 30 days before any hearing required under section 8 of chapter 6D. The center may contract with an outside organization with expertise in issues related to the topics of the hearings to produce this report.
(b) The center shall participate in the annual hearing required by section 8 of chapter 6D and advise and assist the health policy commission in conducting such hearing including, but not limited to, identifying witnesses and examining and cross-examining providers, provider organizations and payers regarding any issues material to the subject of such hearings.
(c) The center shall provide technical assistance to the health policy commission in compiling the annual report required by section 8 of chapter 6D including, but not limited to, providing access to any data collected by the center under section 8, 9 and 10 and providing analysis regarding spending trends and factors underlying the spending trends.