The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), enacted in March 2021, includes many provisions specific to state health care policy and programs. This issue brief, developed for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts, examines ARPA’s impact on the Massachusetts health care system – MassHealth coverage and services, subsidized health insurance through the Health Connector, health care workforce issues, and more – and poses questions for policy makers to consider in trying to create long-lasting impact from these time-limited funding boosts.
Open access methods provide timely behavioral health care services to patients, and can improve staff productivity and increase financial stability for provider organizations who use a proven model. A study conducted by Commonwealth Medicine behavioral health experts Carol Gyurina, Lisette Victoriano, and Jeffrey Walter for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation uncovered the experience of provider organizations using this model in Massachusetts, highlighting key factors for success
An evaluation of the utilization of two pre-exposure prophylaxis therapies, emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada®) and emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy®), among a MassHealth population.
At the recent Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health Conference, our experts presented preliminary results of the MassHealth Behavioral Health for Justice-involved Individuals Initiative (BH-JI), a sustainable model for engaging justice involved individuals with mental health and addiction needs.
New drugs are coming to market faster than ever. For many patients, new pharmaceutical therapies represent the potential for life-changing impact. Yet uncertain uptake of these often high-cost specialty drugs poses a significant risk for pharmacy budgets. To protect you from surprises, Commonwealth Medicine pharmacists and data analysts provide expert Budget Impact Forecasting.
The FQHC network was dissatisfied with the results provided by a survey vendor, both in terms of response rates and the presentation of results. The network contracted with Commonwealth Medicine to administer its annual patient experience surveys starting in 2018.
Research shows a connection between oral health and overall wellness. To improve access to oral health care, more than 78 percent of Massachusetts Community Health Centers (CHCs) offer direct dental services at approximately 58 state-wide locations. Adequate staffing and expertise are critical to providing care. However, little is known about the recruitment and retention of the vitally important dental workforce. Commonwealth Medicine designed and implemented a survey in 2018 to understand the motivators and barriers that influence the recruitment and retention of the dental workforce at CHCs.
Providing at-risk populations with access to permanent housing also improves their access to medical and mental health services while reducing overall health care costs. That is among the key findings in this report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts, prepared in part by Research & Evaluation experts at Commonwealth Medicine.
Commonwealth Medicine's newborn screening experts have developed an algorithm that can be used to tell when a newborn's genotype may need to be retested. Learn more about this formula, which can determine when alleleic dropout has occurred, and find out why this practice could be vital for newborn screening programs across the country in this presentation.
A pilot project in Worcester focused on reducing racial inequities and better-supporting children in early education settings who have experienced trauma shows significant results, suggesting a new model that could be adopted in early education settings across the state and country.
In this presentation, Stephanie Tran, PharmD, clinical consultant pharmacist, explains how a retrospective compounding monitoring program demonstrated a reduction in per member per year spend through the placement of select high-cost compounding ingredients on prior authorization.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is an advanced form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that is estimated to affect 5 - 21 million people in the United States. In this report, Pavel Lavitas, PharmD, BCPS, discusses findings from the Clinical Pharmacy Services pipeline monitoring team which was observing the results of a trail for a new treatment for the disease.
Director of Child and Family Policy Audrey Smolkin discusses interventions to promote children's resilience to minimize the long-term effects of trauma.
The federal “public charge” rule is causing many non-citizens to avoid treatment for potentially serious health issues—including COVID-19. This report, co-authored by CWM Health Law and Policy experts, examines the rule’s impact on non-citizens and the Mass. health care system.
Karen Clements, senior project director, Research and Evaluation, co-authored this poster on providing Medicaid populations with access to advanced hep C treatments which was nominated for best poster at the recent Academy Health 2020 Annual Research Meeting.
This poster by Judy Savageau, MPH, research consultant, informs MassHealth policies and programs for medical and behavioral health services with the goal of reducing opioid overdoses. Savageau presented her poster at the Academy Health 2020 Annual Research Meeting.
For children of color, early-life traumas increase the risk for long-term physical and mental health issues. Audrey Smolkin, director of Child and Family Policy at the UMass Med School, discusses the need for training on the link between race, trauma, and resilience.
There are many systems and services that contribute to children’s health, development, and well-being. However, many of our health systems are complicated, difficult to use, and have strict eligibility requirements; and many health services exist in silos and are not well coordinated. As a result, access for families is difficult. Many children who are not given a chance to thrive and get a healthy start in life grow up to be unhealthy adults with chronic and costly health conditions.
Reviewing applications for disability retirement benefits is a complex and time-sensitive process. Getting it right protects plan members and the financial soundness of the plan itself. Commonwealth Medicine empowers its team of licensed and credentialed case reviewers with secure, cloud-based technology to maintain operational continuity—even during a pandemic. The result is accurate, fair and timely disability recommendations.
A study, led by Soumya Vishwanath and other policy experts, from Commonwealth Medicine, assessed the effectiveness of a three-part, proactive intervention in prompting new prior authorization (PA) submissions and/or provider response prior to PA expiration in a Medicaid population.The intervention group had PAs submitted an average of 2.7 days before the expiration date vs.13 days after expiration in the comparison group.
Pharmacy experts from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Commonwealth Medicine completed a study on whether the overall benefit of sacubitril/valsartan outweighed the cost of the drug within a Medicaid population. Previous studies have shown that patients treated with sacubitril/valsartan had lower rates of hospitalizations, but before now, the data on the economic impact of the drug on a Medicaid population was limited.