Massachusetts insurers urge state to reject Boston Children’s expansion
The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, a lobbying group that represents 17 health plans, has urged state regulators to reject a $1 billion expansion of Boston Children’s Hospital. The group says the expansion will increase healthcare costs throughout the state because it will boost the hospital’s market share.
The hospital currently accounts for 46% of all pediatric discharges throughout the state. That number is expected to rise to 55% after the expansion, according to the association.
Boston Children’s responded to the letter with a prepared statement: “As MAHP seeks to derail Boston 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.”
Boston Children’s is one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the nation with 395 beds. The proposed expansion includes the construction of a new 11-floor clinical tower, expansion of the cardiovascular program and more intensive-care unit beds. The expansion will add 71 new beds and four operating rooms.
The hospital said that the expansion is “essential” to meet a growing demand for complex care. The Massachusetts Public Health Council will vote Oct. 20 on whether to approve the expansion.