State Health Care Cost Growth Benchmarking: New Strategies to Drive Transparency and Accountability

Cost growth benchmarking programs allow states to see a complete picture of total health care spending in their markets, and pinpoint cost drivers. They empower states with the information to exercise appropriate regulatory authority—and influence health care sectors to promote cost containment and improve affordability. States can use a continuum of mechanisms—from public transparency to financial penalties—to hold payers and providers accountable for unjustified spending above benchmarks.

In 2022, Massachusetts took a new step forward in enforcing cost containment accountability, becoming the first state to require an entity that exceeded the statewide cost growth benchmark to file a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The PIP requires the organization to outline the specific steps it will take to directly reduce health care costs over the next 18 months. As Massachusetts works through its first PIP process, other states are exploring ways to design and implement their own benchmarking programs and accountability mechanisms to support their cost containment and affordability goals. In a new webinar, Manatt Health and a panel of state leaders will explore new strategies for increasing accountability—and containing costs. Key questions the discussion will answer include:

  • What are state cost growth benchmarking programs?
  • How can benchmarking programs be used to advance state cost-containment and affordability agendas?
  • What are the accountability mechanisms state benchmarking programs rely on to achieve cost containment?
  • How are states strengthening benchmarking accountability mechanisms?


Joel Ario, Managing Director, Manatt Health


  • Kevin McAvey, Director, Manatt Health
  • David Seltz, Executive Director, Massachusetts Health Policy Commission
  • Sarah Bartelmann, Cost Growth Target Program Manager, Oregon Health Authority

If you would like to receive an audio transcript of this webinar due to accessibility issues, please email us at

This program does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Views expressed by presenters are strictly their own and should not be construed to be the views of Manatt or attributed to Manatt.



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