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MA Gov. proposes health fee overhaul

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick plans to file long-awaited legislation today that would give him authority to scrutinize the fees paid to hospitals and doctors, part of a proposal to transform how providers are compensated and to curb rising health care costs, according to high-level administration officials. The legislation also underlines the administration's plan to shift most Massachusetts employees, Medicaid recipients, and other residents with state-subsidized health insurance — about 1.7 million people, or 1 in 4 residents — to a new cost-conscious healthcare payment system, in which doctors and hospitals are put on a budget for each patient's care. It indicates that the state plans to have the infrastructure and strategy in place by 2014 to make this transition.
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