Altarum – a Michigan-based healthcare consulting group – has issued a scorecard that places Massachusetts first in the nation at providing affordable healthcare.
Even though the state has relatively high healthcare spending per person, a lower percentage of residents reported affordability problems than in other states. The report found that Massachusetts has great coverage, and has surpassed many states in reducing healthcare affordability burdens by, among other things, enacting measures to protect against “skimpy, confusing [Short-Term, Limited-Duration] health plans.”
The group writes that “[Massachusetts] is the rare state that has taken initial steps to identify low-value care,” such as reducing C-sections for low-risk mothers or antibiotic prescribing, but needs to continue progress in this area. While the Bay State is still among the most expensive states in terms of private payer costs, the report notes that Massachusetts “is a leader in terms of policies to curb healthcare prices,” promote transparency, and meet spending targets. The Healthcare Affordability Scorecard is available here