MASSACHUSETTS BUSINESS LEADERS on Thursday raised concerns about legislative efforts to provide financial support to struggling community hospitals, saying the measures will drive up costs and could destabilize the state’s health care industry.
A letter from seven groups, including Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, indicated businesses were growing tired of the Legislature’s penchant for quick fixes without addressing the underlying cost problems in Medicaid and the broader health care industry.
“Establishing an assessment or setting a statutory floor with no corresponding mechanism to offset any new spending is exactly the wrong approach to deal with our state’s high health care costs, and will only exacerbate our distinction as having among the highest costs in the country,” the groups said in a letter.
James Rooney of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce raised similar concerns about one-time assessments to help community hospitals. “Such assessments create a temporary revenue infusion that acts only as a stop-gap that will require the state to have a repeat conversation on sustaining community hospitals and lower-paid providers within just a few years,” he said.
The letters addressed House and Senate health care bill that are currently in a conference committee, where negotiators from the two branches are attempting to resolve their differences.