Browse by Type: Reports

July 26, 2018

MassHealth introduced accountable care organizations (ACOs) for many of its members in March 2018. An ACO is a group of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that work together with the goals of delivering better care to members, improving the population’s health, and controlling costs. This brief serves as a resource for stakeholders (i.e., providers, health care administrators, policymakers) to help explain the key elements of MassHealth ACOs.

May 31, 2018

This brief frames the key issues and potential impacts to Massachusetts consumers that may result from implementation of the federal proposed rule to expand the availability of Association Health Plans (AHPs). This brief:

March 29, 2018

This brief provides an overview of the steps that Massachusetts has taken to establish a functioning insurance market that provides consumers with meaningful access to health coverage. It includes a review of statutory and regulatory provisions in place today, and provides context for key health reform initiatives that have occurred over the past 30+ years. This brief is structured around four key components of a functioning market for health coverage:

January 31, 2018

Given the impact that social factors have on health status and expenditures, and the shift toward value-based payment models that reward providers based on outcomes, health care organizations (HCO) and community-based organizations (CBO) across the country are increasingly working together to address patients’ social needs.

November 21, 2017

This brief prioritizes issues for consideration as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and managed care organizations (MCOs) prepare to integrate and fully manage comprehensive long-term services and supports (LTSS) over the course of Massachusetts’ five year 1115 waiver extension. The identified priority areas were informed by lessons learned from managed LTSS programs in other states and interviews with key stakeholders in Massachusetts.

October 31, 2017

This series of reports describes the results of a comprehensive mixed-methods study, Access to Outpatient Mental Health Services in Massachusetts. The study sought to quantify the wait times for outpatient mental health office visits in Massachusetts, better understand the experiences of clients seeking an appointment, and identify facilitators and barriers to accessing mental health services.

October 5, 2017

Federal authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on September 30, 2017. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have filed a bill to extend CHIP for five years, but Congress did not act quickly enough to prevent the current authorization from expiring. Unspent federal CHIP funds may be carried over into the next fiscal year and Massachusetts’s current allotment of federal CHIP funds should allow the state to continue to use CHIP funds for benefits until early 2018.

July 12, 2017

This primer is designed to increase understanding of the behavioral health care system in Massachusetts and the issues affecting access to care for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. It is intended to serve as a foundation for future work focused on behavioral health system solutions.

June 22, 2017

This report describes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Massachusetts and its role as part of MassHealth. Though there is no expiration date for CHIP in federal law, Congress has authorized funding of the program through September 30, 2017. Without Congressional action, a majority of states, including Massachusetts, will exhaust their current federal CHIP allocation by March 2018. This report discusses the importance of CHIP and the broader health policy debate, including reauthorization, now taking place in Washington.

May 23, 2017

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, on behalf of the Massachusetts Coalition for Coverage and Care, funded a state-level analysis on the impact of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Massachusetts focused on 2022, when the law would be fully phased in.

March 8, 2017

This report presents the results of a study analyzing the impact of the Community Support Program for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness (CSPECH) on the utilization and cost of health care services. CSPECH is an innovative program through which MassHealth reimburses community-based support services provided to chronically homeless individuals residing in permanent supportive housing.

January 5, 2017

This issue brief describes the key elements of the most recent MassHealth 1115 waiver extension, including the shift to a delivery system centered on Accountable Care Organizations and Community Partners, a Delivery System Reform Incentive Program, the redesigned Safety Net Care Pool, and the expansion of services for treatment of substance use disorders. It concludes with a discussion of implications of the new system for major stakeholder groups.

December 22, 2016

Despite the near-universal health insurance coverage that the state has maintained for nearly a decade, pockets of high uninsurance remain for both adults and children in communities across Massachusetts. This brief, prepared by the Urban Institute, explores the relationship between community characteristics and the uninsured rate for people of all ages in Massachusetts and highlights the geographic and community context of the remaining uninsured. It also provides data to better target outreach and enrollment activities.

July 26, 2016

This report includes findings from the evaluation of the 2015 Fostering Effective Integration grant program. The goals of the evaluation were to determine 1) how grantees defined “success” for their integration efforts, 2) grantee perceptions of the critical components of effective integration programs, 3) common barriers to integration, and 4) measures grantees used to assess programs.

Fostering Effective Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care in Massachusetts, Year One Report
July 21, 2016

In recent years, integrating treatment for mental health and substance use disorders (SUD) with primary care has been the subject of extensive research testing a number of different integration models and specific interventions. While many of these approaches have shown promise in demonstrations or clinical trials, the true test of value is in real-world settings where there are competing demands on scarce resources, strict fidelity to intervention protocols is difficult, and patients have multiple urgent needs.

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