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GBIO Acts on Health Care Costs

GBIO Acts on Health Care Costs

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
The Boston Globe

Saying it’s worried that mounting medical costs are squeezing family and government budgets, a group that is representing dozens of Boston-area religious congregations wants the state Health Policy Commission to determine whether a pending deal between Attorney General Martha Coakley and Partners HealthCare System will make health care more affordable.

Leaders of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization hope to bring more attention to a tentative pact that would allow Partners to complete a takeover of South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, while placing limits on how much the state’s largest health care provider can charge for services and restricting its expansion for five to 10 years.

“This agreement has potentially very significant implications for efforts to control health costs,” the interfaith organization’s president, the Rev. Burns Stanfield, pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in South Boston, wrote in a letter to the Health Policy Commission.

“We believe that the [commission] should review and evaluate the agreement, and then render a judgment as to whether in your opinion it is, or is not, in the interests of the Commonwealth.”

The interfaith group waded into the debate over medical care prices last September when it invited leaders of the area’s largest hospitals and health insurers to a meeting at Temple Israel in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area — and grilled them on what they could do to blunt the impact of soaring health costs.