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Making Health Care Affordable Grant Program Final Evaluation

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.

Leveraging the Social Determinants of Health: What Works?

Social determinants of health, which encompass social, behavioral and environmental influences on one’s health, have taken center stage in recent health policy discussions. While research indicates that greater attention to these non-medical factors may improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs, translating this evidence into actionable recommendations for policy makers and others has been challenging.

Monitoring Access to Care in Massachusetts: Comparing Public Coverage with Employer-Sponsored Insurance Coverage

This report, prepared by Sharon Long and Thomas Dimmock of the Urban Institute, further analyzes the 2013 Massachusetts Health Reform Survey (MHRS) by comparing the experience of adults with public coverage to adults with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage across a number of access and affordability measures. Findings from the analysis show problems with access to care were more prevalent for adults with public coverage than for those with ESI.

Barriers to Behavioral and Physical Health Integration in Massachusetts

This report, prepared by Margaret Houy and Michael Bailit of Bailit Health Purchasing, LLC, provides a comprehensive review of the policy and regulatory barriers that impede behavioral health integration in Massachusetts and identifies potential options for addressing these barriers. This report is divided into three sections – licensing, privacy, and, reimbursement barriers – and was developed through a review of reports and other secondary sources, agency regulations and checklists, and interviews and a focus group with key stakeholders.

Comparison of the FY2016 House and Senate Budget Proposals for MassHealth and Health Reform Programs

This brief describes the Massachusetts Senate fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and other subsidized health coverage programs and compares it to the proposal put forth by the House. It is the third 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. MMPI will be publishing budget briefs at several stages in the FY2016 budget process as proposals move through the state legislature.

Coverage Options for Massachusetts: Leveraging the Affordable Care Act

In this issue brief, Patricia Boozang, Deborah Bachrach and Hailey Davis of Manatt Health Solutions, review the coverage and delivery system challenges that Massachusetts could address through sections 1331 (the Basic Health Program) and 1332 (Waivers for State Innovation) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Addiction and Recovery Services in the City of Boston: A Blueprint for Building a Better System of Care

In 2014, the Foundation partnered with the city of Boston to conduct a thorough analysis of the scope of Boston's substance use addiction problem and selected DMA Health Strategies to conduct the research. With the Mayor’s Office, the Foundation also assembled an Addiction Recovery Advisory Group comprised of addiction experts and community stakeholders to work closely with the researchers.

Paths to Sustainability for Innovative Delivery System Programs

Peter Hussey, Courtney Armstrong, and Eric Schneider of the RAND Corporation conducted interviews with seven health plans and five Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to determine their support for innovative delivery system models including payment arrangements, program development strategies, and the criteria decide whether or not to support these programs.

House of Representatives FY2016 Budget Proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform Programs

This brief describes the Massachusetts House of Representatives fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and other subsidized health coverage programs. It is the second 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. MMPI will be publishing budget briefs at several stages in the FY2016 budget process as proposals move through the state legislature.

The Governor’s FY 2016 Budget Proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform Programs

This brief describes the governor's fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal for MassHealth (Medicaid) and other subsidized health coverage programs. It is the first in a series of FY 2016 budget briefs produced by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI) in partnership with Rob Buchanan and Tom Dehner of Health Management Associates. MMPI will be publishing budget briefs at several stages in the FY2016 budget process as proposals move through the state legislature.

MassHealth and the Importance of Continued Federal Funding for CHIP

Unless Congress acts, federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will run out soon after September 2015. On March 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would fund CHIP for two more years. The Senate is expected to take up the bill in mid-April. This report, written by Robert Seifert of the Center for Health Law and Economics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, examines the serious implications for Massachusetts if federal funding for CHIP is not extended.

The Geography of Uninsurance in Massachusetts, 2009-2013

This brief and set of detailed tables, prepared by Sharon Long and Thomas Dimmock from the Urban Institute, provide estimates of the number and rate of uninsurance in Massachusetts by various geographic units ranging from congressional districts to counties to neighborhoods. The resource is based on the 2009 to 2013 five-year file of the American Community Survey (ACS), which included a sample of 140,001 people in Massachusetts.

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.