Mass General Brigham agrees to slash spending by $128M a year

Boston-based Mass General Brigham plans to reduce total medical spending by $127.8 million a year, according to a Sept. 22 report from The Boston Globe.

The spending cut nearly doubles its previous commitment to reduce spending. The reduction is part of the hospital's performance improvement plan, which is required by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission due to several years of spending exceeding acceptable levels. 

According to a Massachusetts Health Policy Commission analysis, Mass General Brigham's total commercial spending on primary care patients was $293 million above benchmark limits from 2014 to 2019.

The plan requires approval from commissioners, and approval will test the state's primary mechanism used to hold providers accountable for the continual increase in healthcare costs. Mass General Brigham Executive Vice President of Value-Based Care Gregg Meyer, MD, said that the health system is committed to doing its part to lower costs while providing patient care. 

"Despite unprecedented financial challenges facing Mass General Brigham and health systems everywhere, we are resolute in doing our part to lower the cost of health care in Massachusetts, without impacting our ability to provide patient care or our responsibilities to medical research, education, and the communities we serve," said Dr. Meyer. 

The updated plan calls for expanding the number of commercial insurers the system works with, which will result in a $90 million reduction by bringing outpatient rates closer to market competition. An additional $32.4 million will be saved by reducing avoidable hospitalizations, emergency room visits, post-acute care, and the use of high-cost outpatient imaging services. Finally, $5.3 million in annual savings will come from delivering care remotely or in lower-cost hospitals and clinics.

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