HCN News & Notes

BHN Selected as Community Partner to Support MassHealth Members

SPRINGFIELD — Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) announced it has been selected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as one of 20 community partners to support MassHealth members with significant behavioral-health and complex long-term needs.

BHN will work with regional accountable-care organizations (ACOs) to support and coordinate care for MassHealth members, including children, youth, and adults with disabilities, mental illness, substance-use disorders, and co-occurring disorders and conditions. An ACO is a group of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers that work together with the goals of delivering better care to members and improving the population’s health.

BHN has been selected as lead agency for both behavioral health and long-term services and supports, as designated by the Commonwealth. In that capacity, it will oversee a network of providers, pooling resources, staff, and expertise from BHN, WestMass ElderCare (WMEC), and Stavros Center for Independent Living. In total, 12 community-partner organizations in behavioral health and eight in long-term services and supports were selected across the state.

The community partner designation is a five-year term. Over the last three years, the community-partners program has shown a reduction in ER visits by 21%, a reduction in behavioral-health admissions by 30%, and a reduction in risk-adjusted total cost of care by 20%. The program complements the Commonwealth’s Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform, which significantly expands access to mental-health and addiction treatment.

Over the next five years, some of the program’s goals include reaffirming MassHealth’s commitment to community-based outreach and care coordination for the highest-risk members, leveraging the expertise of community-based organizations, and continuing to incentivize integration of care across physical health, behavioral health, long-term services and supports, and health-related social needs.

“We are thrilled to continue this critical support and coordination service for our most vulnerable residents,” said Steve Winn, president and CEO of BHN. “We are grateful to our partners at Stavros and WMEC for joining in this effort, and grateful that this expansion program includes children and youth as well as adults.”