Mass. Healthcare Spending Tops $50 Billion, Report Says

Despite the increase, analysts say expenditures are within the legal limit.

Total healthcare expenditures in Massachusetts grew to more than $50 billion from 2012 to 2013, according to a new report from the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA). The annual report, released earlier this month, evaluates elements of the state’s healthcare system including expenditures, insurance enrollment, premium levels, and more.

Despite the notable increase, calculated at 2.3 percent, analysts say spending is still within the 3.6 percent limit established by the 2012 cost containment law. The real concern, according to the report, is that spending grew faster than the rate of inflation.

Other findings detailed in the report were more positive. An evaluation of enrollment figures shows that 97 percent of state residents have health insurance.  Results further indicate that premium and benefit levels stayed the same, while member cost-sharing did not increase.

“CHIA’s mission is to monitor the Massachusetts healthcare system and to provide reliable information and meaningful analysis for those seeking to improve healthcare quality, affordability, access, and outcomes,” CHIA’s Executive Director Áron Boros said in a statement. “This report marks the latest step in achieving that mission, increasing transparency in our healthcare system and empowering policymakers and regulators to make the best data-driven decisions possible.”

The results of this analysis will be discussed at the 2014 Health Care Cost Trends Hearing this October 6 and 7.