A Healthy Blog

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

HCFA Organizes Comments To MassHealth on Waiver Proposal

HCFA Organizes Comments To MassHealth on Waiver Proposal

July 26, 2016

In mid-June, MassHealth took another step towards payment and care delivery systems reforms with the release of their 1115 waiver proposal (background: section 1115 of the Social Security Act allows the federal government to authorize state demonstration projects to improve Medicaid). Through the 1115 waiver, MassHealth is requesting authority from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to restructure MassHealth care delivery through implementation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and expand substance use disorders services. 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 for safety net programs, including the Health Safety Net – this is important, as under the current waiver, a significant portion of Safety Net Care Pool funding is set to phase out by June 30, 2017.

The public comment period closed on July 17th, with many stakeholders weighing in. Health Care For All helped draft and submit several sets of comments on a range of issues covered in the waiver proposal, with common themes around ensuring access to care, member choice, consumer protections, and monitoring and oversight. One set of comments we organized included these 29 organizations:

Logos of groups commenting on 1115 Waiver

Use these links to read our submitted comments:

The next step is for MassHealth to submit their 1115 waiver proposal to CMS. CMS will send MassHealth a notice of receipt within 15 days of submission, and that notice initiates the start of a 30-day federal comment period.