Legislation Filed to Increase Access to Primary Care, Behavioral Health


HYANNIS – At a recent visit to Codman Square Health Center in Boston, Governor Charlie Baker announced the filing of comprehensive health care legislation to increase access to care and control costs for state residents.

Building on earlier legislation filed in 2019, “An Act Investing in the Future of our Health” would expand investments in behavioral health and primary care through a new spending target for health care providers and payers requiring them to increase expenditures on primary care and behavioral health by 30% over a three-year period ending in calendar year 2024.

Achieving those targets would result in a system-wide investment of about $1.4 billion in those areas to combat an increase in behavioral health issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

The legislation would also seek to manage health care costs by implementing protections on surprise billing for out-of-network services by establishing a default payment rate of reimbursement which carriers would pay to out of network providers for unforeseen services.

The bill would also impose penalties on drug manufacturers for excessive price increases and establish new oversight authority for pharmacy benefit managers.

“Over the past two years, the Commonwealth’s health care workers stepped up to the plate and demonstrated the strengths of our health care system. But the pandemic also shed light on structural, underlying challenges, many of which we proposed addressing with our 2019 legislation,” said Baker in his visit.

“The bill we are filing today would increase access to behavioral care and other services that keep people healthier in the long-term by increasing investment in these areas. It would also control the factors that increase costs for residents and families, and improve access to high-quality, coordinated care,” he said.

‘We know our partners in the Legislature agree on the need to address these challenges and look forward to working with them to enact these meaningful reforms.”

To learn more, click here.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

About CapeCod.com NewsCenter

The award-winning CapeCod.com NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy