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Commission: MA should be able to reject above-norm health prices

Boston Herald, November 10, 2011

Massachusetts officials would be empowered to reject certain rates charged by hospitals for medical services under a plan recommended Wednesday by a commission of prominent health care stakeholders, lawmakers and experts that has studied the issues since June. Under the plan, if hospitals, medical centers or other providers of health care services charge a price for medical care that exceeds the market norm—and if an insurer refuses to pay—providers would be required to defend their prices before a panel of state health care finance officials. That panel would be empowered to force an insurer to accept a hospital's price or to force the hospital to accept a lower price.