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MassHealth’s 1115 waiver agreement includes $1.8 billion of up-front investments, called the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, to support restructuring how health care is delivered and paid for. DSRIP will support the MassHealth Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program and the Community Partners (CP) program.

Starting in July 2017, through the DSRIP program, MassHealth will make statewide investments of approximately $115 million over five years to support participants in the MassHealth ACO program.  The statewide investments will help to efficiently scale up statewide infrastructure and workforce capacity to support the goals of the ACO and the CP programs.  They include:

  1. A student loan repayment program to repay a portion of awardees’ student loans in exchange for a minimum four-year commitment to work in a community setting, specifically community health centers, community mental health centers, or an emergency service program provider. The goal of the program is to address the shortage of providers in community-based settings and support student loan repayment for primary care and behavioral health providers, including primary care physicians, psychiatrists, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, and licensed behavioral health providers.
  1. A primary care/ behavioral health special projects program to support community health centers, community mental health centers, and emergency service program providers by offering $40,000 grants that enable primary care and behavioral health providers to lead one-year projects related to accountable care. MassHealth will define application criteria and eligibility, and will select awardees through a competitive process that will allow MassHealth to evaluate the proposed projects for scope, impact, feasibility, cost, and need, among other factors.
  1. An investment in community-based training and recruitment program for community health centers and community mental health centers to increase the number of Massachusetts physicians and nurse practitioners trained in community health centers, as well as the number of behavioral health providers successfully recruited to community mental health centers. The program will provide funds that enable family medicine residency programs to add slots for training residents in community health centers. It will also provide recruitment packages that community mental health centers can offer to attract prospective new hires. 
  1. A technical assistance (TA) program to help build capacity to achieve the payment reform goals of decreased total cost of care and improved health outcomes for MassHealth members. Technical assistance is anticipated to address the following domains: education; care coordination and integration; performance management; health IT; accessibility/culturally competent care; chronic condition management; behavioral health care treatment and management; and population health and data analytics. 
  1. An investment in enhanced diversionary behavioral health activities to support the implementation of strategies to ensure members with behavioral health needs receive care in the most appropriate, least restrictive settings. MassHealth will consider a broad spectrum of strategies for investment (e.g., technological solutions to facilitate access to patients’ medical histories upon arrival at emergency departments, data collection and analysis platforms, etc.)

In addition DSRIP statewide investment funding will be used to;

  • Provide resources to MassHealth providers transitioning to alternative payment methods.
  • Support training and development for members of the extended healthcare workforce
  • Invest in improved accessibility for people with disabilities and for whom English is a second language.

Feedback from health care community, MassHealth members and the public has played an important role throughout the waiver process and we look forward to continuing the dialog. Updates on the implementation of statewide investment programs will be provided at regularly scheduled MassHealth innovation public meetings.  Additional information on MassHealth’s planned restructuring and payment reforms for its 1.9 million members may be found on the MassHealth Innovations website at

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