The growth in health care spending has slowed in recent years but could speed up again as the economy strengthens and the population ages. Even with slower growth rates, however, federal and state governments need to pursue reforms and innovations to keep public health programs sustainable.
Massachusetts and Maryland are at the forefront of such efforts. Officials in other states and the nation’s capital should watch how the experiments in these two states turn out and consider what lessons they may hold.
Maryland regulators recently received approval from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to limit the growth in hospital spending for each of the next five years to 3.58 percent. That is the state’s average annual rate of per capita economic growth since 2002.
Maryland already has successful experience restraining growth in health care spending relative to other states because of a unique commission that...