Tuesday, May 16: Big Day Of Beacon Hill Hearings

On Tuesday, May 16, the state Senate is expected to release its FY18 budget proposal, and three joint committees – Health Care Financing, Financial Services, and Public Health – are holding public hearings during which testimony will be submitted on eight priority bills for MHA and the hospital community.

MHA staff and personnel from member hospitals are fanning out through the State House on Tuesday to testify on:

•        SB520, relating to health insurer reserve requirements;

•        HB563, to prevent health insurers from using administrative denials to avoid paying for medically necessary services;

•        HB2984, to restore funding for disproportionate share hospitals;

•        HB616, to roll back recent regulations and allow healthcare providers to once again freely negotiate with MassHealth MCOs for in-network services;

•        HB611, which would update the base year on which reimbursement rates are set so that chronic disease and reimbursement hospitals can get fair payments from the state;

•        HB614, to compel the Office of Medicaid to use national standards when conducting medical necessity reviews;

•        SB1218, to prohibit the sale of all tobacco and e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 21, among other restrictions; and

•        SB1211, to require the Health Policy Commission to investigate the quality and patient safety implications of insurer policies that encourage the re-dispensing and administration of medications by hospitals for cancer and chronic disease patients for drugs that were previously dispensed by a specialty pharmacy.

You can review the text and history of any of the above bills by clicking this site maintained by the state legislature.