(BOSTON)- The Massachusetts House of Representatives Tuesday evening passed a major healthcare bill. The centerpiece of the legislation is aimed at assessing insurers and large hospitals in order to assist underfunded and struggling community hospitals. Throughout the Commonwealth, hospitals with large operating capacities and their insurers will provide a substantial one-time sum that would support funding for smaller community hospitals for three years. The state-wide assessment is projected to raise $337 million in funds for community hospitals. The bill’s passing signifies the House’s continued commitment to providing Massachusetts residents with quality healthcare regardless of their options in medical facilities. In addition to hospital/insurer assessments, the following amendments were also included in the bill:
- The requirement of doctors to inform patients of any facility fees five days before an appointment
- Increased regulation of ambulatory and urgent care facilities by the Department of Public Health
- The termination of out-of-network billing for medical emergency scenarios
- The reauthorization of the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund
The bill passed in a 117-32 vote. It awaits deliberation in the Massachusetts Senate.