Over the past few weeks, we’ve been following the progress of a tax bill that would have imposed an 8.75% tax on urgent care charges in Massachusetts. Thanks at least in part to strong lobbying against the bill by the Urgent Care Association and the North East Regional Urgent Care Association (NERUCA), among other concerned parties, the bill was stalled as the legislature’s 2018 General Session came to a close. If the bill had gone through, UCA and NERUCA maintain, it would have wreaked havoc not only on urgent care and retail clinics, but on the entire state healthcare system. House Bill 4639 was intended to protect community hospitals, whose emergency rooms had seen a 30% dip in patients since urgent care has taken hold in the state (never mind that urgent care’s “brand” is offering lower-cost, more efficient care than the ED is able to offer—which clearly is a benefit to the patient). UCA and NERUCA staged a “lobby day” a couple of weeks ago to visit legislative offices, also crafting a well-received position statement on why the negative consequences of the bill would far outweigh any benefits.
Update: Massachusetts Urgent Care Tax Bill Dies on the Vine