HPC Annual Health Care Cost Trends Report

2021 Cost Trends Report - Published September 2021

In this annual report, the HPC presents new research to enhance the collective understanding of health care spending trends and cost drivers in the Commonwealth and evaluates the state’s progress in meeting several cost containment, care delivery, and payment system goals set by the Commonwealth and the HPC. This year’s report focuses on insights from the health care system before the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has left a deep impact on Massachusetts and its health care system. Learning from the pandemic is critical, and the HPC is currently undertaking a separate analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the health care system.

  • Trends in Spending and Care Delivery: Overall, spending growth in Massachusetts exceeded the benchmark in 2019 and, after revision, in 2018 as well. Continued spending over the benchmark exacerbates the problem of affordability of health care in Massachusetts.
  • Understanding Patterns of Health Care Spending, Utilization, Affordability, and Access for Commercially-Insured Massachusetts Residents with Lower Incomes: These findings suggest that, despite wide commercial insurance coverage in the Commonwealth, affordability concerns may impact use of needed health care, especially for individuals with lower incomes.
  • Policy Recommendations: HPC recommends the Commonwealth take the following immediate actions: 1) Strengthen Accountability for Excessive Spending; 2) Constrain Excessive Provider Prices; 3) Make Health Plans Accountable for Affordability; 4) Advance Health Equity for All; and 5) Implement Targeted Strategies and Policies.

Read HPC’s 2021 Health Care Cost Trends Report


Past Reports

2019 Health Care Cost Trends Report

2018 Health Care Cost Trends Report

2017 Health Care Cost Trends Report