Alternative Payment Models and the Case of Safety-Net Providers in Massachusetts

Megan Burns and Michael Bailit of Bailit Health Purchasing, LLC, provide a comprehensive review of payment reform in Massachusetts and, in particular, how the changing landscape is affecting safety-net providers. For this report, safety-net providers—those providers characterized by serving a high percentage of Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured individuals—includes both community health centers and hospitals. Building off state-collected data that details the adoption of alternative payment models (APMs) by payers over the course of 2012 and 2013, the report adds qualitative findings gathered from a sample of payers and providers in mid-2014. The qualitative findings focus on the variation in characteristics of Massachusetts global payment arrangements and the impact the contracts are having on safety-net providers. The report concludes with several recommendations that payers, the state, or foundations could provide to aid safety-net providers in their preparation for payment reform.