A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

HCFA Coalitions Submit Comments to Feds on MassHealth Redesign

HCFA Coalitions Submit Comments to Feds on MassHealth Redesign

September 4, 2016

MassHealth has pending before CMS - the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - its proposal for a major redesign of its care delivery system. MassHealth is the state's Medicaid program, and covers nearly 1.9 million Bay Staters. 

The proposal (read the submission and supporting materials here) calls for creating Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) as a new choice for MassHealth members. An ACO is made up of primary care providers who team up to provide integrated, coordinated care, with the goal of both treating patients when they are sick, and keeping members healthy. They will work with community organizations to assist members with social needs that keep us healthy, like nutrition or housing.

MassHealth is asking CMS for a $1.8 billion up-front investment over five years to support transition toward ACO models, including direct funding for community-based providers of behavioral health and long-term services, as well as funding for safety net programs.

HCFA coordinated the submission of 5 sets of comments to CMS on the proposal, from various coalitions that we coordinate. All together, 96 different organziations signed on to one or more of the comments that we coordinated. The comments reflect each coalition's particular concerns. The final set of comments below is from over 30 consumer groups, such as the Greater Boston Food Bank, Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs, Easter Seals Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers. Click the links below to see the submitted comments.