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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE II EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
    OF THE COMMONWEALTH
  • CHAPTER 6D HEALTH POLICY COMMISSION
  • Section 10 Notice to health care entities exceeding health care cost growth benchmark; performance improvement plan; waiver; penalty for failure to comply

Section 10. (a) For the purposes of this section, “health care entity” shall mean a clinic, hospital, ambulatory surgical center, physician organization, accountable care organization or payer; provided, however, that physician contracting units with a patient panel of 15,000 or fewer, or which represents providers who collectively receive less than $25,000, 000 in annual net patient service revenue from carriers shall be exempt.

(b) The commission shall provide notice to all health care entities that have been identified by the center under section 18 of chapter 12C as exceeding the health care cost growth benchmark for any given year. Such notice shall state that the center may analyze the cost growth of individual health care entities and, beginning in calendar year 2016, the commission may require certain actions, as established in this section, from health care entities so identified.

(c) For calendar year 2015, if the commission finds, based on the center’s annual report, the commission’s annual cost trend hearings or any other pertinent information, that the average percentage change in cumulative total health care expenditures from 2013 to 2014 exceeded the average health care cost growth benchmark from 2013 to 2014, and in order to support the state’s efforts to meet future health care cost growth benchmarks, as established in section 9, the commission shall establish procedures to assist health care entities to improve efficiency and reduce cost growth by requiring certain health care entities to file and implement a performance improvement plan.

Beginning in calendar year 2016, if the commission finds, based on the center’s annual report, the commission’s annual cost trend hearings or any other pertinent information, that the percentage change in total health care expenditures exceeded the health care cost growth benchmark in the previous calendar year, and in order to support the state’s efforts to meet future health care cost growth benchmarks, as established in said section 9, the commission shall establish procedures to assist health care entities to improve efficiency and reduce cost growth by requiring certain health care entities to file and implement a performance improvement plan.

(d) In addition to the notice provided under subsection (b), the commission may require any health care entity that is identified by ther center under section 16 of chapter 12C as exceeding the health care cost growth benchmark established under section 9 to file a performance improvement plan with the commission. The commission shall provide written notice to such health care entity that they are required to file a performance improvement plan. Within 45 days of receipt of such written notice, the health care entity shall either:

(1) file a performance improvement plan with the commission; or

(2) file an application with the commission to waive or extend the requirement to file a performance improvement plan.

(e) The health care entity may file any documentation or supporting evidence with the commission to support the health care entity’s application to waive or extend the requirement to file a performance improvement plan. The commission shall require the health care entity to submit any other relevant information it deems necessary in considering the waiver or extension application; provided, however, that such information shall be made public at the discretion of the commission.

(f) The commission may waive or delay the requirement for a health care entity to file a performance improvement plan in response to a waiver or extension request filed under subsection (b) in light of all information received from the health care entity, based on a consideration of the following factors:

(1) the costs, price and utilization trends of the health care entity over time, and any demonstrated improvement to reduce health status total medical expenses;

(2) any ongoing strategies or investments that the health care entity is implementing to improve future long-term efficiency and reduce cost growth;

(3) whether the factors that led to increased costs for the health care entity can reasonably be considered to be unanticipated and outside of the control of the entity. Such factors may include, but shall not be limited to, age and other health status adjusted factors and other cost inputs such as pharmaceutical expenses and medical device expenses;

(4) the overall financial condition of the health care entity;

(5) a significant difference between the growth rate of potential gross state product and the growth rate of actual gross state product, as determined under section 7H 1/2 of chapter 29; and

(6) any other factors the commission considers relevant.

(h) If the commission declines to waive or extend the requirement for the health care entity to file a performance improvement plan, the commission shall provide written notice to the health care entity that its application for a waiver or extension was denied and the health care entity shall file a performance improvement plan.

(i) A health care entity shall file a performance improvement plan: (1) within 45 days of receipt of a notice under subsection (c); (2) if the health care entity has requested a waiver or extension, within 45 days of receipt of a notice that such waiver or extension has been denied; or (3) if the health care entity is granted an extension, on the date given on such extension. The performance improvement plan shall be generated by the health care entity and shall identify the causes of the entity’s cost growth and shall include, but not be limited to, specific strategies, adjustments and action steps the entity proposes to implement to improve cost performance. The proposed performance improvement plan shall include specific identifiable and measurable expected outcomes and a timetable for implementation. The timetable for a performance improvement plan shall not exceed 18 months.

(j) The commission shall approve any performance improvement plan that it determines is reasonably likely to address the underlying cause of the entity’s cost growth and has a reasonable expectation for successful implementation.

(k) If the board determines that the performance improvement plan is unacceptable or incomplete, the commission may provide consultation on the criteria that have not been met and may allow an additional time period, up to 30 calendar days, for resubmission; provided, however, that all aspects of the performance improvement plan shall be proposed by the health care entity and the commission shall not require specific elements for approval.

(l) Upon approval of the proposed performance improvement plan, the commission shall notify the health care entity to begin immediate implementation of the performance improvement plan. Public notice shall be provided by the commission on its website, identifying that the health care entity is implementing a performance improvement plan. All health care entities implementing an approved performance improvement plan shall be subject to additional reporting requirements and compliance monitoring, as determined by the commission. The commission shall provide assistance to the health care entity in the successful implementation of the performance improvement plan.

(m) All health care entities shall, in good faith, work to implement the performance improvement plan. At any point during the implementation of the performance improvement plan the health care entity may file amendments to the performance improvement plan, subject to approval of the commission.

(n) At the conclusion of the timetable established in the performance improvement plan, the health care entity shall report to the commission regarding the outcome of the performance improvement plan. If the performance improvement plan was found to be unsuccessful, the commission shall either: (i) extend the implementation timetable of the existing performance improvement plan; (ii) approve amendments to the performance improvement plan as proposed by the health care entity; (iii) require the health care entity to submit a new performance improvement plan under subsection (c) or (iv) waive or delay the requirement to file any additional performance improvement plans.

(o) Upon the successful completion of the performance improvement plan, the identity of the health care entity shall be removed from the commission’s website.

(p) The commission may submit a recommendation for proposed legislation to the joint committee on health care financing if the commission determines that further legislative authority is needed to achieve the health care quality and spending sustainability objectives of this act, assist health care entities with the implementation of performance improvement plans or otherwise ensure compliance with the provisions of this section.

(q) If the commission determines that a health care entity has: (i) willfully neglected to file a performance improvement plan with the commission within 45 days as required under subsection (d); (ii) failed to file an acceptable performance improvement plan in good faith with the commission; (iii) failed to implement the performance improvement plan in good faith; or (iv) knowingly failed to provide information required by this section to the commission or that knowingly falsifies the same, the commission may assess a civil penalty to the health care entity of not more than $500,000. The commission shall seek to promote compliance with this section and shall only impose a civil penalty as a last resort.

(r) The commission shall promulgate regulations necessary to implement this section; provided, however, that notice of any proposed regulations shall be filed with the joint committee on state administration and regulatory oversight and the joint committee on health care financing at least 180 days before adoption. or third-party administrators shall be excluded from this definition.