Mas­sachusetts in­sur­ers urge state to re­ject Bos­ton Chil­dren’s ex­pan­sion

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Maria Castel­lucci

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.

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