It’s time for Massachusetts to change its health care payment structure while ensuring quality, according to Suffolk University Law School student Kate Moylan, who argues the point in the Rappaport Briefing commentary “The state’s dilemma: Paying for universal health coverage.”

The cost of health care remains high, even as Massachusetts has led the way in providing coverage for all residents. Moylan’s article was written before Gov. Deval Patrick signed a health care cost-control law in early August.

“There are two issues to consider. One is fairness insofar as different providers are paid differently for the same or similar service. The other is total cost,” writes Moylan.” While efforts to ensure fairness are necessary as a short-term solution, the Legislature should focus its work on lowering overall costs.”

She argues in favor of Global payment plans, which reward performance and focus on primary care.

“Global payment plans would encourage the creation of health care organizations made up of hospitals, physicians and other providers working together as a team and introduce accountability for quality and cost. The team would accept responsibility for all or most of the care that members need. The Special Commission recommendation and a global payment system could work together. Health care organizations could use panel-determined prices to establish reasonable global payments for quality care,” argues Moylan, whose legal studies have focused on health law and litigation. She has been interning for the Massachusetts Legislature in the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.

The Rappaport Briefing offers a collection of student commentaries on issues confronting state and local government in Massachusetts, from utilities regulation to English-language learning.

The briefing blog, created by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School, also presents news about Rappaport Center activities.