[ Text of section effective until November 4, 2012. Repealed by 2012, 224, Sec. 132.]
Section 61/2. (a) The division shall hold annual public hearings based on the information submitted under sections 6 and 6A concerning health care provider and private and public health care payer costs and cost trends, with particular attention to factors that contribute to cost growth within the commonwealth's health care system and to the relationship between provider costs and payer premium rates. The attorney general may intervene in such hearings.
(b) The attorney general may review and analyze any information submitted to the division under section 6 and 6A. The attorney general may require that any provider or payer produce documents and testimony under oath related to health care costs and cost trends or documents that the attorney general deems necessary to evaluate factors that contribute to cost growth within the commonwealth's health care system and to the relationship between provider costs and payer premium rates. The attorney general shall keep confidential all nonpublic information and documents obtained under this section and shall not disclose such information or documents to any person without the consent of the provider or payer that produced the information or documents except in a public hearing under this section, a rate hearing before the division of insurance, or in a case brought by the attorney general, if the attorney general believes that such disclosure will promote the health care cost containment goals of the commonwealth and that such disclosure should be made in the public interest after taking into account any privacy, trade secret or anti-competitive considerations. Such confidential information and documents shall not be public records and shall be exempt from disclosure under section 10 of chapter 66.
(c) Hearings shall be held by the commissioner or a designee, or a hearings officer, if authorized by the commissioner. Public notice of any hearing shall be provided at least 60 days in advance.
(d) The division shall, 30 days before the date of any hearing, publish a preliminary report of its findings based on information provided under section 6. The division may contract with an outside organization with expertise in issues related to the topics of the hearings to produce this preliminary report. The division shall use this preliminary report as a basis for designing the format and content of the hearing.
(e) The division shall identify as witnesses for the public hearing a representative sample of providers and payers, including: (i) at least 3 academic medical centers, including the 2 acute hospitals with the highest level of net patient service revenue; (ii) at least 3 disproportionate share hospitals, including the 2 hospitals whose largest per cent of gross patient service revenue is attributable to Title XVIII and XIX of the federal Social Security Act or other governmental payers; (iii) community hospitals from at least 3 separate regions of the state; (iv) freestanding ambulatory surgical centers from at least 3 separate regions of the state; (v) community health centers from at least 3 separate regions of the state; (vi) the 5 private health care payers with the highest enrollments in the state; (vii) any managed care organization that provides health benefits under Title XIX or under the commonwealth care health insurance program; (viii) the group insurance commission; (ix) at least 3 municipalities that have adopted chapter 32B; and (x) any witness identified by the attorney general.
(f) Witnesses shall provide testimony under oath and subject to examination and cross examination by the division and the attorney general at the public hearing in a manner and form to be determined by the division, including without limitation: (i) in the case of providers, testimony concerning payment systems, payer mix, cost structures, administrative and labor costs, capital and technology costs, adequacy of public payer reimbursement levels, reserve levels, utilization trends, and cost-containment strategies, the relation of private payer reimbursement levels to public payer reimbursements for similar services, efforts to improve the efficiency of the delivery system, efforts to reduce the inappropriate or duplicative use of technology; and (ii) in the case of private and public payers, testimony concerning factors underlying premium cost and rate increases, the relation of reserves to premium costs, the payer's efforts to develop benefit design and payment policies that enhance product affordability and encourage efficient use of health resources and technology, efforts by the payer to increase consumer access to health care information, and efforts by the payer to promote the standardization of administrative practices, and any other matters as determined by the division.
(g) The division shall compile an annual report concerning spending trends and underlying factors, along with any recommendations for strategies to increase the efficiency of the health care system. The report shall be based on the division's analysis of information provided at the hearings by providers and insurers, data collected by the division under sections 6 and 6A of this chapter, and any other information the division considers necessary to fulfill its duties under this section, as further defined in regulations promulgated by the division. The division shall consult with the health care quality and cost council when developing any measures or criteria to be used in its analysis. The report shall be submitted to the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means, the chairs of the joint committee on health care financing and shall be published and available to the public no later than December 31st.