HPC IDs Administrative Simplification as a Priority

The Health Policy Commission’s (HPC’s) annual Cost Trend Report is an interesting, dense collection of facts and figures about the Massachusetts healthcare system. Within the 70-plus page 2018 report is a six-page section outlining 11 policy recommendations, 10 of which are “renewed recommendations” from previous years’ reports.

The one new recommendation from the HPC focuses on a subject for which hospitals and physicians have advocated continually – namely, administrative simplification. The HPC recommended that: “The Commonwealth should take action to identify and address areas of administrative complexity that add costs to the health care system without improving the value or accessibility of care.”

“… [A]dministrative complexity is endemic in the U.S. health care system, including in payment arrangements, insurance billing and coding, risk adjustment, quality measurement reporting, provider credentialing, and use of electronic health records,” HPC wrote. To simplify the system within the commonwealth, the HPC said in the coming year it would collaborate with stakeholders to identify, prioritize, and develop strategies to address unnecessary administrative complexity.

HPC said it would also expand its focus on pharmaceutical pricing.