Annual Report on the Performance of the Massachusetts Health Care System Reveals Issues with Cost, Affordability

Mar 13, 2024

The state’s Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) released the Annual Report on the Performance of the Massachusetts Health Care System. Most notably, this includes a final calculation of Total Health Care Expenditures (THCE) – a measure of total statewide health care spending in the Commonwealth – which totaled $71.7 billion in 2022. From 2021 to 2022, THCE per capita increased 5.8% to $10,264 per resident.

The report examines trends in costs, utilization, coverage, and quality indicators through 2022, a period following two years of unprecedented volatility in the health care system due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report includes a new chapter on health care affordability that presents a consumer-centric picture of rising health care costs and its downstream implications, as well as a section and interactive dashboard that provides comparative insights into how medical spending varies by community demographics.

The Annual Report also examines hospital utilization, payer and provider financial and quality performance, and spending trends related to behavioral health, telehealth- and COVID-19-related services.

Key findings include the following:

  • In 2021, over four in 10 Massachusetts residents reported experiencing health care affordability issues in the past 12 months (41.0%), including more than half of Hispanic residents (54.9%) and Black residents (50.8%).
  • Between 2020 and 2022, member cost-sharing, premiums, and claims covered by payers and employers increased faster than regional inflation and wages and salaries.
  • Pharmacy and non-claims payments were the largest contributors to the THCE increase in 2022. The nonclaims growth was primarily driven by $621.5 million in new COVID-related supplemental payments that MassHealth made to support the financial stability of eligible providers pursuant to state and federal legislation.

More information is available in the full report.