Sections 37 & 38: Division of Health Care Finance and Policy Hearings

There is hereby established a division of health care finance and policy under the supervision and control of the commissioner. The secretary of health and human services shall appoint the commissioner, with the approval of the governor, who shall serve at the pleasure of the secretary and may be removed by the secretary at any time, subject to the approval of the governor. The commissioner shall have such educational qualifications and administrative and other experience as the secretary of health and human services determines to be necessary for the performance of the duties of commissioner. The position of commissioner shall be classified in accordance with section forty-five of chapter thirty and the salary shall be determined in accordance with section forty-six C of said chapter thirty.

The commissioner shall appoint and may remove such agents and subordinate officers as the commissioner may deem necessary and may establish such subdivisions within the division as he deems appropriate to fulfill the following duties: (i) to collect, analyze and disseminate health care data to assist in the formulation of health care policy and in the provision and purchase of health care services; (ii) to work with other state agencies including, but not limited to, the department of public health and the department of mental health, the health care quality and cost council, the division of medical assistance and the division of insurance to collect and publish data concerning the cost of health insurance in the commonwealth and the health status of individuals; (iii) to hold annual hearings concerning health care provider and payer costs and cost trends, and to provide an analysis of health care spending trends with recommendations for strategies to promote an efficient health delivery system; and (iv) to administer the health safety net office and trust fund established under sections 35 and 36. The division shall make available actual costs of health care services, as supplied by each provider, to the general public in a conspicuous manner on the division’s official website.

The division shall adopt and amend rules and regulations, in accordance with chapter thirty A, for the administration of its duties and powers and to effectuate the provisions and purposes of this chapter. Such regulations shall be adopted, after notice and hearing, only upon consultation with representatives of nonprofit hospital service corporations established under chapter one hundred and seventy-six A, elected representatives of health systems agencies designated pursuant to Title XV of the federal public health service act, representatives of companies authorized to sell accident and health insurance under chapter one hundred and seventy-five and the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

Summary: 
Amends the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy statute to include references to Health Care Quality and Cost Council and the provider and payer cost trends hearings.