Input On MassHealth LTSS Sought

One of the featured speakers at the HCA of MA Annual Meeting last week was Scott Taberner, newly named MassHealth’s Chief of Behavioral Health and Supportive Care.  LTSS is the new umbrella term under which all medical and personal care assistance that MassHealth clients may need – for several weeks, months, or years – when they experience difficulty completing self-care tasks as a result of aging, chronic illness, or disability.  This includes, but is not limited to, nursing facility care, adult daycare programs, home health services, personal care services, transportation, and assistance assistance provided by a family caregiver.

In his remarks,  Taberner indicated that the Baker administration is launching a major initiative to improve health outcomes for Masshealth clients and make the MassHealth program more sustainable over the long term.  As part of that initiative, considerable attention will be paid to what, how, to whom and by whom, LTSS services are provided.  On his agenda Are: rethinking  how to modify fee for service payment to pay for value and outcomes;  what provider contracting and management arrangements might look like in a Medicaid Accountable Care Organization;  and how, in general, MassHealth can improve the LTSS “experience” of clients and providers.

MassHealth is holding the last of its open public hearings on these topics in the coming weeks.  They are open to any entity to submit comments and suggestions to the team looking at this programmatic area.  Rate increases for all community based services are, of course, at the top of the Alliance’s request list.  We are looking for suggestions from our member agencies –  with a strong history of provding MassHealth LTSS  – for suggestions as to how both rates and programmatic reforms could enhance our capacity to serve MassHealth clients with both medical and behavioral health needs.

We believe this is a unique opportunity to bring forward creative approaches to restructuring the MassHealth home health and home care programs.  Alliance members are invited to submit any and all concerns and suggestions to Pat Kelleher by July 2 for inclusion in our comments.

Author: Pat Kelleher

Pat Kelleher is Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

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