The HPC set the 2015 target growth rate (or "benchmark") in per-capita Massachusetts health care spending at 3.6 percent. Overall growth in 2015 was 4.1 percent - 0.5 percentage points above the benchmark. The report finds that the main contributors to exceeding the benchmark in Massachusetts were: (1) prescription drug costs, (2) hospital spending, (3) health insurance enrollment changes, and (4) spending on long-term services and supports.
For the second year in a row, prescription drug spending remains the largest single contributor to increased health care costs, accounting for roughly one-third of per-capita growth. The HPC found that, when combined, medical and prescription drugs comprised more than 20 percent of commercial spending in Massachusetts. In the report, the HPC recommends enhancing the transparency of drug prices and spending to help reduce increases.
The HPC also found that all-cause, all-payer 30-day hospital readmissions increased to 15.8 percent for the first time in four years. This is an area with which Massachusetts has struggled compared to other states. The HPC has highlighted this area for potential cost-savings by issuing a target of lowering all-payer readmissions to 13 percent by 2019.
An Executive Summary of the report and its policy recommendations is available here.