Governor Deval Patrick signed S. 2863 (the Cost Containment and Quality Improvement Bill) into law this past Sunday. The purpose of the bill is to help contain the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, while ensuring transparency and continued quality of care for residents of Massachusetts (press release).
Of particular interest to healthcare consumers is that 4 of the 6 quality improvement provisions that our friends on the Consumer Health Quality Council at Health Care for All advocated for were included in the bill and will now be enacted:
1. Public reporting of healthcare-associated infection rates;
2. Public reporting of Serious Reportable Events (or never events) and prohibiting hospitals from being reimbursed for care associated with the events;
3. Requiring hospitals to establish Rapid Response Methods; and,
4. Requiring hospitals to establish Patient and Family Councils.
We'll now have to wait and see what happens with the implementation phase of the bill, but we applaud Governor Patrick's, the Senate's, and the House's leadership on this important piece of legislation.