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Massachusetts lowers hospital surcharge


BOSTON—Massachusetts regulators are slightly lowering the surcharge on payments made to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers in the state.

The new surcharge, which applies to bills paid on or after Oct. 1, is 1.9%, down from 2% in fiscal 2009, which ended on Sept. 30.

The surcharge is imposed on third-party claims administrators, health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations and employers nationwide that administer their own health fare plans.

Massachusetts uses the revenue generated by the surcharge to reimburse hospitals for care provided to the uninsured. However, under the state’s 2006 health care reform law, a greater portion of the revenues are being shifted over time to subsidizing health insurance premiums of lower-income, uninsured state residents.