The New York Times reports that Massachusets is working on a plan that would provide flat “global payments” to health provider networks that would act as incentives for them to keep their patients well. The hope is that the system will replace the current fee-for-service model that tends to increase medical costs because it reimburses for each visit and procedure.

According to the Times, the plan calls for teams of providers to receive an annual fee for each patient’s care. In theory, the healthier the network can keep their patients, the more of the fee they keep as profit.

Such proposals are sure to face opposition by vested interests. But it’s good to see that discussions regarding rising medical costs are beginning to include talk of keeping people healthy.