Chairman Jeffrey Sánchez delivers remarks to the Health Policy Commission at start of 2014 Cost Trends Hearing, stating cautious optimism over health care spending growth.
BOSTON—Representative Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Jamaica Plain), House Chair of the Committee on Public Health, addressed the Health Policy Commission (HPC) this morning on the first day of the Annual Cost Trends Hearing. Rep. Sánchez of the 15th Suffolk District, speaking at the request of Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, expressed cautious optimism over data released in recent reports from the Center for Health Information Analysis (CHIA) and the HPC, that indicated a 2.3% growth in total health care expenditures, below the 3.6% benchmark established by Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012.
Rep. Sánchez cited remaining challenges, including high health care spending per capita, large portions of public spending on health care, and a continued reliance on high-cost, high-intensity care settings. “We must remain committed to this effort, pursuing value-based care, while tackling high health care expenditures,” Sánchez stated. He expressed confidence in the HPC and CHIA in addressing these challenges, as well as additional areas for progress, including behavioral health integration and more robust, standardized data collection.
Chairman Sánchez urged the Commission not to forget underserved populations, “We should be scaling our efforts up and out, to guarantee that the impact of our policies is felt across the state, across all populations.” He further stressed the importance of broad reform, targeting socioeconomic factors, as well as traditional clinical features of the health care system. “While patients are treated in hospitals, patients and people heal in community.”