Mass. lawmakers to debate health care cost bill

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are preparing to debate a bill House and Senate negotiators say will save up to $200 billion in health care costs over the next 15 years.

Legislative leaders say the compromise bill will also help guarantee the future of the state's landmark 2006 health care law.

The bill encourages the creation of so-called "accountable care organizations" which take a more coordinated approach to medicine, while also giving residents better access to their medical records and cutting down on unnecessary testing.

It also includes $135 million in grants to help community hospitals adopt new electronic medical records systems.

Tuesday is the final day of the Legislature's formal session.

Lawmakers must debate and pass the bill before the end of the day to get it to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk.

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