Mass General Brigham gets more time to submit a cost-reduction plan

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission granted Boston-based Mass General Brigham a 60-day extension to submit its plan to lower healthcare costs. 

The health system was ordered by the commission in January to develop a performance improvement plan to reduce costs after the state's healthcare watchdog determined it pushed healthcare spending above acceptable levels throughout the last few years. Specifically, the commission found that Mass General Brigham had substantially higher-than-average commercial spending from 2014-19. The health system had $293 million in total spending across those years, which was more than any other provider in the state.

When the order was issued, Mass General Brigham had 45 days to file a proposed performance improvement plan or ask for an extension. In mid-March, as the initial March 21 deadline loomed, the health system asked for a 60-day extension. 

The health system now must produce a plan by May 16, including cost-reducing steps, savings goals, process and outcome metrics, and a timeline. 

The commission approved the deadline extension April 13. It will review Mass General Brigham's cost-reduction plan during its June 8 meeting. 

A failure to comply with the order comes with a $500,000 fine, according to the commission's website

This was the first time the commission has required a health system to submit a plan to lower costs since it started reviewing market transactions six years ago. 

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