All Publications

MassHealth: The Basics – Facts and Trends (October 2022)

This UPDATED (October 2022) edition of the MassHealth: The Basics chart pack provides new data on MassHealth enrollment and spending from the most recent state fiscal years available. The chart pack also features a high-level overview and status update on the state’s delivery system reform efforts, including a summary of the key elements of MassHealth’s latest 1115 demonstration waiver extension that was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on September 28, 2022.

Basics thumb
Basics thumb

Creating a Robust, Diverse, and Resilient Behavioral Health Workforce in Massachusetts

The behavioral health workforce in Massachusetts is in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the prevalence of behavioral health issues and demand for services, exposing and aggravating the vulnerabilities of Massachusetts’ behavioral health workforce and delivery system. Health care, including behavioral health care, has been among the industries hardest hit by the “Great Resignation,” exacerbating workforce shortages that predated the pandemic.

bh workforce report thumb
bh workforce report thumb

The MassHealth Proposed Demonstration Extension 2022–2027: Building on Success, Focusing on Equity

Massachusetts administers much of MassHealth through an 1115 Demonstration waiver, approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which it has extended several times since it was originally approved in 1995. In December 2021, Massachusetts submitted a request to CMS to extend its Demonstration for another five years.

waiver thumb
waiver thumb

UPDATED! Promoting Access to Care and Coverage During a Public Health Crisis: COVID-19–Related Changes Affecting MassHealth, Health Connector, and Health Safety Net

Massachusetts, with support from the federal government, has implemented several policy and programmatic changes intended to promote continued access to health care services and health insurance coverage during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This table serves as a centralized resource that documents and describes the policy, regulatory, and administrative actions pertaining to MassHealth, Health Connector programs, and the Health Safety Net.

Structural Racism and Racial Inequities in Health: Summary of Focus Group Key Themes and Findings

The Foundation has committed to base its work in the structural racism and racial inequities in health focus area on issues raised by the communities and community members experiencing racism and health inequities. To that end, the Foundation partnered with established community-based organizations across the state to convene focus groups featuring the perspectives of community members on how racism impacts health and access to health care services. A total of seven focus groups, organized geographically, were held virtually.

focus group thumb
focus group thumb

The End of the Federal Continuous Coverage Requirement in MassHealth: Key Strategies for Reducing Coverage Loss

This issue brief aims to educate stakeholders and policymakers about an upcoming federal policy change that could impact coverage for many MassHealth members.  Like all states, Massachusetts received enhanced federal Medicaid funding under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the first major federal stimulus package passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. As a condition of receiving these funds, Massachusetts is required to maintain continuous coverage in MassHealth during the federal COVID-19 public health emergency.

MOE thumb
MOE thumb

Health Care in the ARPA Bill: Selected Highlights from Chapter 102 of the Acts of 2021

In December 2021, Governor Baker signed Chapter 102 of the Acts of 2021 into law. This legislation, often referred to as the “ARPA bill,” appropriates close to $4 billion, including $2.55 billion in funding directly from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA was passed in March 2021 to provide money to states to start recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chapter 102 invests money from ARPA in many areas, including housing, infrastructure, education, and economic development.

arpa bill summary thumb
arpa bill summary thumb

Expanded Coverage and Savings: Effects in Massachusetts of Extending the American Rescue Plan Act's Enhanced Marketplace Subsidies

This report provides an analysis of the impacts of the enhanced premium subsidies for purchasing health insurance through the Marketplace, or Health Connector in Massachusetts, that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) temporarily authorized through 2022.

ARPA impact thumb
ARPA impact thumb

Help for the Front Line: Approaches to Behavioral Health Consultation for Primary Care Providers

The goal of this study was to better understand whether Primary Care Providers (PCPs) identify a need for a PCP-to-behavioral health (BH) provider consultation program for adult patients with mental health conditions and substance use disorders (SUDs), and whether they would utilize such a program. Additionally, the study sought to understand the type of BH conditions providers encounter, the proportion of adult primary care patients with BH needs, and the challenges PCPs face in supporting adult patients with BH conditions.

report cover
report cover

Behavioral Health During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Update on Need and Access in Massachusetts 2020/2021

This brief provides an updated snapshot of the need for behavioral health care and experiences accessing it in the Commonwealth as of 2020/2021, based on a new survey commissioned by the Foundation.  This survey was fielded by NORC at the University of Chicago between December 2020 and March 2021 and gathered information on the need for and access to behavioral health care among Massachusetts adults ages 19 and older and their close relatives.

Cover of Behavioral Health and COVID report
Cover of Behavioral Health and COVID report

What is the Actual State Cost of MassHealth in State Fiscal Year 2022?

As a program that provides publicly-funded health benefits to more than 2 million low-income children and families, seniors and people living with disabilities in Massachusetts, it is not surprising that MassHealth accounts for a large share of the state’s budget.  However, a cursory review of the MassHealth budget can be misleading because it can obscure the billions of dollars in federal revenue that the program generates for the state.

cover of the What's the Actual Cost of MassHealth in State Fiscal Year 2022?
cover of the What's the Actual Cost of MassHealth in State Fiscal Year 2022?

Impact of the American Rescue Plan Act on the Massachusetts Health Care System

In response to the health and economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in March 2021, which makes $1.9 trillion available to individuals, states and territories, counties, cities, community organizations, educational institutions, and other entities. Some funds are intended to shore up or even expand programs and agencies that have been depleted during the pandemic, while other funds are designated or available to create new programs.

Cover of the ARPA Impact report
Cover of the ARPA Impact report

Value-Based Payment to Support Children’s Health and Wellness: Shifting the Focus from Short-Term to Life Course Impact

Health care payers, providers, and policymakers are increasingly pursuing value-based payment (VBP) to improve the quality of care and population health while controlling rising health care costs. When implemented in Medicaid, VBP programs often include children and adults in the same model, though these models may not fully account for children’s distinct health needs.

Cover of the Value-Based Payment to Support Children's Health and Wellness
Cover of the Value-Based Payment to Support Children's Health and Wellness

Opening the Door to Behavioral Health Open Access in Massachusetts

Addressing timely access to behavioral health care through the adoption of open access methods supports the well-being of people with behavioral health conditions, improves staff productivity, and increases financial stability for provider organizations. However, no study has previously documented the experience of provider organizations using this model in Massachusetts.

updated thumb
updated thumb