Experts expect healthcare costs in Massachusetts, a pioneer in healthcare reform, to outstrip economic growth in the state, the Boston Globe reports.

For years healthcare reform in Massachusetts has been credited with containing healthcare costs, but now three trends seek to push those costs beyond the cost cap established by the state, according to the Globe:

  • Medical cost trend. A metric used by insurers, the “medical cost trend,” which measures the “price of [healthcare] services and the volume of doctor visits, procedures, and tests” is expected to grow by 6 to 12 percent, the Globe reports.
  • Small business insurance premium boost. The state laws allowing insurance-buying cooperatives, which enable small businesses to band together to purchase health insurance at discounted rates, will be superseded by federal regulations that will “probably drive up premiums for companies with fewer than 100 workers,” according to the Globe.
  • Hospital consolidation. Several hospital mergers will give providers new clout to negotiate higher prices for services from insurers.

For more details, read the full story at the Boston Globe.

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