Browse by Area of Focus

March 8, 2016

This report, prepared by Robert Belfort and Alex Dworkowitz of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, provides a review of the primary Massachusetts and federal privacy laws relevant to the exchange of information among physical and behavioral health providers and an assessment of technological and operational challenges faced by providers seeking to integrate care through enhanced data exchange.

March 2, 2016

This brief describes the governor's fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and health reform programs. It is the first in a series of FY2017 budget briefs produced by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI) in partnership with Health Management Associates. MMPI will be publishing budget briefs at several stages in the FY2017 budget cycle as proposals move through the state legislature.

February 18, 2016

Although Massachusetts has successfully achieved the lowest rate of uninsurance in the nation, thousands of individuals and families still live with the potential adverse health effects and financial impacts of not having health insurance. In 2015, an estimated 200,000 individuals in Massachusetts did not have health insurance coverage.

December 10, 2015

On November 5, 2015, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation hosted a symposium for non-governmental users of the Massachusetts All-Payer Claims Database (MA APCD) administered by the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA).

December 2, 2015

This chart pack, prepared by Manatt Health Solutions, provides an examination of the current state of long-term services and supports (LTSS), an area identified as a priority for reform by MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid). MassHealth accounts for nearly half of all spending on LTSS, amounting to $4.5 billion annually, and equal to 12 percent of the state budget. Using previously unpublished LTSS data, the chart pack examines MassHealth LTSS spending and utilization, access and affordability, workforce capacity and quality.

October 20, 2015

This primer, prepared by Ellen Breslin of Health Management Associates, includes an explanation of how state Medicaid programs generally pay their MCOs, the overall process for setting Medicaid managed care capitation rates and the various tools that states use to mitigate the risks that MCOs face when they assume financial responsibility for Medicaid members.

September 24, 2015

This report summarizes the results of a July 2015 poll conducted by a team led by Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D. of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The poll was conducted to assess the perspectives of Massachusetts adults age 65 and over on the issues of affordability, access, and satisfaction with their health care coverage.

September 24, 2015

There are almost one million seniors in Massachusetts and while most enjoy broad coverage and protection against the cost of many health care services through Medicare, they may also face significant gaps, finding themselves responsible for substantial deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. This report, prepared by Nancy Turnbull and Katherine Heflin of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, reviews the many private and public coverage options available to seniors to supplement Medicare coverage.

August 25, 2015

This updated edition of the tracking tool provides a detailed description of key components of Chapter 224, highlighting the progress the state has made in its implementation of the law as of August 2015. This tool is designed for policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders who wish to track when and how state leaders have addressed policy issues pertaining to Chapter 224.

August 20, 2015

In March 2010, President Obama signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which included significant changes impacting health insurance coverage across the United States. Although many elements of the ACA were based on Massachusetts’ health insurance reform, there were still many decisions and activities that Massachusetts needed to address in order to comply with the new federal Medicaid and health insurance marketplace requirements, most of which were required to be effective as of January 2014.

August 12, 2015

This budget brief highlights the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget for MassHealth (Medicaid) and other subsidized health coverage programs. It is the last in a series of FY2016 budget briefs produced by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI) in partnership with Rob Buchanan and Tom Dehner of Health Management Associates.

August 5, 2015

The “Making Health Care Affordable” (MHCA) three-year grant program concluded in 2014. Margaret Houy and Kate Bazinsky of Bailit Health Purchasing, LLC report on the impact of the BCBSMA Foundation’s funding initiative. The goal of MHCA was to fund interventions aimed at containing costs while increasing access and quality of care. Bailit examines how the Foundation’s objectives were met, what factors led to successful program implementation, common barriers faced by grantees, and which programs may have generalizability.

July 30, 2015
Medicaid, a federal-state partnership program, has advanced a variety of both federal and state health coverage reform goals over the last 50 years. There is perhaps no state in which Medicaid has played a more important role in the evolution of how health care is delivered and paid for than Massachusetts. This interactive timeline reflects some of the key moments in our history where Medicaid served to expand coverage for low-income and vulnerable people in the Commonwealth.

Pages