, June 29, 2011
Support is building among some Massachusetts hospitals for temporary government limits on healthcare prices, a remarkable development in an industry that has long favored letting the marketplace determine how much providers are paid for treating patients. During a second day of hearings on healthcare costs yesterday, three of four hospital chiefs who testified said government controls on prices are needed to close the wide gap between what insurers pay hospitals and doctors? groups with the market leverage to demand high prices and what they pay to those without it. "Fundamentally, I believe in the market," said Andrei Soran, CEO of MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham. But "the market got out of hand," he said. "Intervention will bring it back to the appropriate level." Norman Deschene, president of Lowell General Hospital, said his hospital is losing doctors because they can see a patient and make "$100 today with Lowell General" and then sign on with a better-paid competitor and make "$150 tomorrow for the same work."