HCN News & Notes

Mercy Medical Center to Enroll MassHealth Patients in ACO Model

SPRINGFIELD — The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has selected, for the purposes of entering into contract negotiations, a proposal which will enable Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, part of Trinity Health New England, to enroll low-income children and adults covered by MassHealth (Medicaid) into an accountable-care organization (ACO) model of care.

Slated to begin in January 2018, Mercy’s MassHealth patients seen by its primary-care providers will transition to an ACO model of care designed to improve care and slow the rapid growth in MassHealth costs.

Mercy Medical Center has formed an ACO alliance with Boston Medical Center (BMC) Health System, including BMC HealthNet Plan, to serve these patients. Together, they are well-positioned to support MassHealth patients in this new ACO structure through the services offered at Mercy Medical Center and its practice groups.

Under the new ACO model, care will be structured to include everything patients need to stay healthy. This includes both outpatient and inpatient services as well as community-based services for behavioral health, substance-use disorders, rehabilitation, home health, adult day care, and long-term services and supports.

“The partnership with BMC Health System is an important step forward in our commitment to our MassHealth patients,” said Mercy Medical Center President Beth O’Brien. “Together, we will combine our significant strengths to advance patient-centered care.”

BMC Health System President Kate Walsh added that the organization’s longstanding patient- and community-centered approach, understanding of MassHealth cost drivers, and its commitment to innovative, new approaches to improve care has made BMC an attractive partner for Mercy. “We’re looking forward to combining our experience and talents to improve care for MassHealth patients and reduce costs for the Commonwealth.”

BMC HealthNet Plan President Susan Coakley noted the longstanding relationship between Mercy Medical Center and the plan to support MassHealth members and patients under the managed-care-organization program. “This is an important new phase in our strong partnership with Mercy Medical Center to serve MassHealth members in a new and innovative way through an ACO.”

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