Ten Years of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission

A decade of advancing a more transparent, accountable, and equitable health care system

In 2022, Massachusetts marked a milestone anniversary in its ambitious journey of health care reform. In 2012, with a broad consensus to restrain rapidly increasing health care costs, the Commonwealth enacted a comprehensive new law (Chapter 224), the centerpiece of which is the innovative health care cost growth benchmark, a first-in-the-nation, statewide target for sustainable growth in total health care spending. The law established the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) to monitor and guide this ambitious effort.

2012-08-06 00:00:00

Signing of Chapter 224

Chapter 224 was signed into law on August 6, 2012 by Governor Patrick and became effective on November 5, 2012.

2012-11-15 04:20:06

Board of Commissioners Appointed, First HPC Board Meeting

The HPC’s Chair and Board members were appointed in November 2012, and soon after the HPC held its first public meeting.

2012-12-13 19:25:30

David Seltz Appointed Executive Director

The Board appoints an Executive Director, who leads the administrative affairs and general management and operations of the HPC.

2013-03-14 09:56:37

HPC Advisory Council First Convened

Chapter 224 directs the HPC’s Executive Director to establish an advisory council to advise on the overall operation and policy of the commission.

2013-04-03 06:36:54

OPP Transitions from DPH to the HPC

The Office of Patient Protection (OPP) safeguards the rights of health insurance consumers.

2013-04-30 06:41:45

One-Time Industry Assessment Issued

The HPC was initially funded by a one-time assessment on certain hospitals and payers in the Commonwealth.

2013-06-19 05:09:56

Guidelines on Mandatory Overtime for Nurses in a Hospital Setting 

Chapter 224 included a new provision limiting the use of mandatory overtime for nurses in a hospital setting.

2013-10-01 00:00:00

First Annual Health Care Cost Trends Hearing

The HPC hosts an annual hearing with the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) and Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA).

2014-01-01 04:32:43

First Annual Health Care Cost Trends Report

The report presents trends in health care spending and delivery, evaluates progress, and makes recommendations to increase quality and efficiency.

2014-01-31 00:00:00

Launch of the HPC’s First Investment Program, CHART

$70 million grant program for community hospitals to enhance the delivery of efficient, effective care.

2014-02-28 06:36:54

First Cost and Market Impact Review (CMIR) Issued

The HPC monitors and tracks changes in the market and reviews transactions that may have a significant impact on costs or market functioning.

2014-05-31 03:30:06

Second CMIR Issued

The second CMIR reviewed Lahey Health System’s proposed acquisition of Winchester Hospital.

2014-09-11 03:30:06

Third CMIR Issued

The third CMIR reviewed Partners HealthCare System’s proposed acquisition of Hallmark Health Corporation.

2014-12-11 11:11:50

Permanent HPC Offices Open at 50 Milk Street, Boston

The HPC was previously occupying temporary space in downtown Boston.

2015-06-01 11:34:07

First Summer Fellowship Program

Eight fellows contributed to projects in support of the HPC’s health care cost containment goal.

2015-06-18 04:13:28

MA Registration of Provider Organizations (MA-RPO) Program Launch

Under the MA-RPO program, provider organizations submit an annual filing to the Commonwealth.

2015-06-18 16:45:09

Regulation on ICU Nurse Staffing

The regulation implements the Intensive Care Unit Nurse Staffing Law.

2016-01-15 04:13:28

Special Report on Provider Price Variation

The report found that a substantial portion of hospital price variation does not reflect differences in quality or other common measures of value.

2016-01-20 07:26:44

Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) PRIME Certification Program Launch

From 2016 – 2019, the HPC certified PCMH practices that demonstrated specific behavioral health integration capabilities.

2016-03-01 00:42:36

Community Hospitals at a Crossroads Report and Community Forum

HPC research informed an essential dialogue about supporting the transformation of community hospitals and rectifying market dysfunction.

2016-05-01 06:51:49

Provider Price Variation Commission Established

The group made recommendations to balance appropriate payments and ensure stability in the market while considering the impact on health care costs.

2016-07-29 01:54:01

Health Care Innovation Investment (HCII) Program Launch

$11.3 million grant program to drive innovation in health care delivery and payment in Massachusetts.

2016-09-30 01:24:20

Fourth CMIR Issued

The fourth CMIR reviewed two proposed contracting affiliations involving Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization.

2017-03-08 00:42:36

First Health Care Cost Growth Benchmark Hearing

Under the framework set forth in Chapter 224, the HPC Board has the opportunity to modify the annual health care cost growth benchmark.

2017-04-27 00:42:36

First HPC DataPoints Issue

HPC DataPoints showcases brief overviews and interactive graphics on relevant health policy topics.

2017-08-17 02:53:27

Opioid Use Disorder Report and Chartpack

The report and chartpack evaluate the impact of the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.

2017-11-22 03:03:38

Behavioral Health Emergency Department Boarding Chartpack

This chartpack was issued in support of statewide efforts to reduce ED boarding.

2017-12-16 00:42:36

HPC Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Certification Program Launch

In 2017, the HPC launched a first-in-the-nation set of statewide standards for accountable care organizations (ACOs).

2018-01-26 21:41:58

Fifth CMIR Issued

The fifth CMIR reviewed a proposed affiliation between Partners HealthCare and Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

2018-07-01 17:15:06

SHIFT-Care Challenge Investment Program Launch

$10 million grant program to promote community-based approaches to care delivery and reduce avoidable acute care utilization.

2018-09-01 00:11:36

HPC Partnership with MassChallenge HealthTech

The partnership promoted the use of digital health tools to address high priority challenge areas.

2018-09-30 14:25:42

Sixth CMIR Issued

The sixth CMIR reviewed the proposed formation of Beth Israel Lahey Health.

2018-10-31 00:11:36

Findings Issued from Analysis on Mandated Nurse Staffing Ratios

The findings informed a panel discussion at the 2018 Cost Trends Hearing.

2020-02-13 00:42:36

Regulation on Drug Pricing Review

The HPC was given new authority to conduct reviews of high-cost drugs referred by MassHealth.

2020-03-31 00:42:36

COVID-19 Response

The HPC supported the coordinated efforts of the COVID-19 Command Center beginning at the onset of the COVID-10 pandemic.

2020-06-30 00:42:36

MassUP Investment Program Launch

The MassUP Investment Program funds partnerships between health care providers and community organizations to address social determinants of health.

2020-07-16 12:21:17

Health Equity Framework and Action Plan Announced

Eliminating inequities is integral to the HPC's mission of better health and better care at a lower cost for all residents of the Commonwealth.

2021-04-14 23:18:15

Impact of COVID-19 on the Massachusetts Health Care System: Interim Report

This interim report details both short-term and long-term implications for the Commonwealth.

2021-06-01 13:20:52

C4SEN Investment Program Launch

$1.46 million grant program to improve quality, efficiency, and access to care for substance exposed newborns (SEN) and their caregivers.

2021-08-20 13:13:54

First Video in the HPC Shorts Series

The first video in the series focused on the impact of COVID-19 on emergency department visits.

2021-09-15 13:20:52

BESIDE Investment Program Launch

$500,000 grant program aims to address inequities in maternal health outcomes by increasing access to and use of doula services.

2022-01-25 00:42:36

First Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

The HPC monitors the performance of payers and providers against the benchmark and may require those with excessive spending to implement a PIP.

2022-07-13 00:42:36

Inaugural Chair Dr. Stuart Altman Steps Down After 10 Years

Dr. Stuart Altman was the founding Chair of the HPC Board.

2022-08-09 00:42:36

Deborah Devaux Appointed Chair of the HPC

Deborah Devaux succeeds Dr. Altman as chair of the HPC Board.

2022-09-15 23:20:43

Tenth Annual Health Care Cost Trends Report

The HPC presents new research on spending trends and cost drivers, and evaluates progress in meeting the Commonwealth’s cost containment goals.

2022-11-02 08:34:42

Tenth Annual Health Care Cost Trends Hearing

"HPC at 10: Charting the Path for Cost Containment in the Next Decade" examined challenges of cost containment, affordability, and health equity.

Ten Years of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission

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