Massachusetts insurers join fight against Boston Children's expansion

The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans expressed concerns about Boston Children Hospital's planned $1 billion expansion in a letter to the Commonwealth's Department of Public Health, saying the project will raise healthcare costs, reports Boston Business Journal.

MAHP, which represents 17 insurance carriers, said the hospital's increased market share resulting from the expansion could negatively impact consumers and payers by reducing competition.

The Commonwealth's healthcare watchdog, the Health Policy Commission, raised similar concerns in an opinion issued last week. The report found the expansion could raise spending in Massachusetts between $8.5 million and $18.1 million each year, and potentially threaten the viability of smaller hospitals. The Health Policy Commission did not make a recommendation on whether to approve the expansion, however. 

In response to MAHP's letter, Boston Children's officials said in a statement, "As MAHP seeks to derail Boson Children's efforts to meet demand for complex clinical care, it would be interesting to know if they surveyed their member plans about the wisdom of undermining access to this world-class care."

The Public Health Council is slated to vote on the expansion project Oct. 20, according to The Boston Globe.  

This article was corrected on 10/5 at 11:57 a.m. The Health Policy Commission did not issue a recommendation on whether to approve the bid in its opinion. 

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