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What to Know Now About MassHealth ACOs

MassHealth introduced Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in 2018 as an option for most of its members under age 65. As of June 2023, over 1.3 million members – more than half of MassHealth’s total membership – are enrolled in one of 17 MassHealth ACOs.

This report was developed as a resource for stakeholders to help explain the key elements of MassHealth ACOs, including the two types, who they serve, and the services they provide. It includes information on the following:

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MassHealth: The Basics – Facts and Trends (October 2023)

This UPDATED (October 2023) 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 features a high-level overview of the delivery systems that serve MassHealth members. It also highlights MassHealth’s latest reform efforts, which include initiatives to advance health equity and to improve timely access to behavioral health care.

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The MassHealth 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. On September 28, 2022, CMS approved Massachusetts’ request for a five-year extension of its Demonstration, which is in effect from October 1, 2022 through December 31, 2027.

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The Time is Now: The $5.9 Billion Case for Massachusetts Health Equity Reform

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care access, quality, and outcomes have been well documented in Massachusetts and across the country. Solutions for reducing inequities in health require investments of time and resources for which there will always be competing priorities. In understanding the value of these investments, it is critical to recognize that in addition to the human toll, they represent a significant economic burden to individuals and families, health care providers, employers, public and private sector payers, and the overall Massachusetts economy.

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Problem Management Plus: An Evidence-Based Approach to Expanding Access to Community-Based Mental Health Supports

Problem Management Plus (PM+) is a proven, scalable, and cost-effective low-intensity mental health intervention that can be delivered by trained non-clinical workers for people who are experiencing common mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, or stressful life problems. PM+ fills a gap in the behavioral health services system by providing early intervention and potential prevention of more acute behavioral health service needs.

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Closing the Coverage Gaps: Reducing Health Insurance Disparities in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has been exemplary in developing health insurance coverage policies to cover its residents. By 2019, the state’s uninsurance rate was 3.0 percent, the lowest rate in the nation, representing about 204,000 uninsured residents. While the state’s overall uninsured rate at a given point in time is low, more than twice as many people - 503,000, or 7.3 percent of the population - experienced a gap in coverage over the previous twelve months. And importantly, not all groups benefit equally.

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thumb report

Reducing Coverage Loss: A 2023 Update on the End of the Federal Continuous Coverage Requirement in MassHealth

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 was required to maintain continuous coverage in MassHealth during the federal COVID-19 public health emergency.

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thumb report

MassHealth Matters to Massachusetts – Infographic

MassHealth provides health care services to over 2 million Massachusetts residents. This infographic highlights key facts about MassHealth, including the many ways in which the program contributes to the Massachusetts economy and promotes health care coverage and access for residents in the state.

Topics
masshealth infographic
masshealth infographic

A Focus on Health Care: Five Key Priorities for the Next Administration

Massachusetts’ historical achievements in bold and innovative health care policy have positioned the state as a national leader in transforming health care coverage, access, affordability, and quality. Yet despite decades of progress, the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to ignore that not all Massachusetts residents are able to access, afford, or experience health care equally.

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Priorities report thumb

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

An updated version of this issue brief is now available here.

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

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