Massachusetts ACO Certification program implements state-wide payer standards
The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) announced January 4 that it certified 17 healthcare organizations qualified to be part of the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Certification program, which implements payer standards for care delivery across the state. This program is the first of its kind in the nation.
The certification program will change the way MassHealth, which is the combination of state Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program in Massachusetts, will contract with healthcare organizations state-wide. The certification program also aims to reduce healthcare costs through the use of ACOs and the delivery of patient-centered care. It has the potential to improve outcomes for approximately 850,000 MassHealth beneficiaries.
The HPC set forth standards by which ACOs could become certified through the program. What sets it apart from similar programs on the state and national level is that it evaluates ACOs based on all commercial payers as well as Medicare and Medicaid. The HPC will analyze information gathered through the program to identify strengths and weaknesses for payers, policymakers, researchers, providers, and consumers.