Costs

September 29, 2016

The third edition 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 September 2016. 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.

May 10, 2016

This report, prepared by Manatt Health, lays out a vision for MassHealth long-term services and supports (LTSS) that is person-centered, integrated, sustainable, accountable, and actionable, providing Massachusetts policymakers with a set of options to consider when tackling some of the most intractable challenges facing the Commonwealth’s LTSS system.

April 12, 2016

Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006—“An Act Providing Access To Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care”—was signed into law by Governor Mitt Romney on April 12, 2006. The groundbreaking law sought near-universal health care coverage for the residents of Massachusetts by expanding Medicaid, creating a new program of subsidized insurance, enacting changes to the health insurance market, and requiring adults to have health insurance unless an affordable option was not available.

February 18, 2016

Although Massachusetts has successfully achieved the lowest rate of uninsurance in the nation, thousands of individuals and families still live with the potential adverse health effects and financial impacts of not having health insurance. In 2015, an estimated 200,000 individuals in Massachusetts did not have health insurance coverage.

December 2, 2015

This chart pack, prepared by Manatt Health Solutions, provides an examination of the current state of long-term services and supports (LTSS), an area identified as a priority for reform by MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid). MassHealth accounts for nearly half of all spending on LTSS, amounting to $4.5 billion annually, and equal to 12 percent of the state budget. Using previously unpublished LTSS data, the chart pack examines MassHealth LTSS spending and utilization, access and affordability, workforce capacity and quality.

September 24, 2015

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.

September 24, 2015

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.

August 25, 2015

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.

August 20, 2015

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.

August 5, 2015

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.

June 29, 2015

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.

June 11, 2015

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.

May 21, 2015

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).

May 12, 2015

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.

April 30, 2015

In this report, Carol Gyurina, Jennifer Rosinkski and Robert Seifert of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, analyze several factors that help explain why health care affordability continues to be a challenge in Massachusetts, even after achieving near universal health insurance coverage.

March 18, 2015

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.

September 2, 2014

This 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. This tool is designed for policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders who wish to track when and how state leaders may address policy issues that pertain to Chapter 224. This tracking tool is a living document and will be updated regularly.

June 18, 2014

This report demonstrates how a general-operating-funds approach to grantmaking can forge stronger and more effective partnerships between the philanthropy and consumer health advocacy communities. It includes examples of the positive impact this approach has had on access to health care in Massachusetts and highlights some of the activities and achievements of 2011-2013 Strengthening the Voice for Access grantee organizations.

Investing in Consumers Health Advocacy through Operating Support
March 20, 2013

This comprehensive chartpack features, in one easy-to-use resource, data and complete references on topics including Massachusetts health care spending trends, cost drivers, and variations in pricing, as well as key differences in health care cost trends between Massachusetts and the U.S.

June 11, 2012

This poll – conducted in April and May 2012 by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health – asked “sick” Massachusetts residents a series of questions related their perception of health care costs and quality in Massachusetts, the reasons for cost and quality problems, and their personal experience with cost and quality issues. The results showed that sick residents are very concerned about health care costs in Massachusetts, and some struggle with their own costs of care.