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.
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.
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.
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.
The Fiscal Year 2016 General Appropriations Act Budget for MassHealth (Medicaid) and Health Reform Programs
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.
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.
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.
UPDATED (July 2015) chart pack, prepared by the Center for Health Law and Economics at the UMass Medical School, includes summary data on MassHealth enrollment and spending and is designed to support use of the charts in presentations. Updated edition includes MassHealth enrollment as of March 2015 and spending from state fiscal year 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.