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November 2016

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation (Boston)

Four years ago Massachusetts signed into law Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, “An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs through Increased Transparency, Efficiency and Innovation.” Recently, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation released the third edition of the Chapter 224 Tracking Tool which provides a detailed description of the law’s key components and highlights the progress the state has made in its implementation as of September 2016. This tool is designed for policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders who wish to track when and how state leaders have addressed policy issues pertaining to Chapter 224.

This year’s release includes two distinct versions of the tracking tool, an abbreviated version that focuses on progress the state has made since August 2015; and a more comprehensive version which documents progress the state has made in implementing the law since its passage in 2012. Both versions of the tracking tool feature a new navigation menu with links to the various Chapter 224 topics.

This tracking tool will be updated annually. Suggested additions or corrections should be sent to the email address below.


Con Alma Health Foundation (Santa Fe, NM)

Con Alma Health Foundation is releasing a new report assessing how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been implemented in New Mexico. This comprehensive study focuses on ACA measures intended to increase health equity, in which everyone has an equal chance at living a healthy life regardless of a person's ethnicity, income, or zip code.

The foundation partnered with the University of New Mexico's College of Population Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico to conduct the study, and the New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils to ensure local communities were represented. This study and report was made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Download the full report here.

RCHN Community Health Foundation (New York, NY)

A new report prepared by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative examines how health centers and state Medicaid programs in a number of Medicaid expansion states are working to reform Medicaid in order to promote efficiency and quality, and more actively integrate health centers into states’ broader payment reform efforts.

The authors review the key elements of Medicaid’s Federally Qualified Health Centers payment rules, describe the flexibility available under federal law that permits states and health centers to develop alternative payment methodologies, and provide in-depth profiles of the approaches underway in five Medicaid expansion states. Examining the experience in California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon, the authors find that health centers and Medicaid agencies are testing payment alternatives that link payment to health center performance. As the authors note, these alternative payment approaches enable health centers to test new strategies to address the needs of their patients, while allowing state Medicaid programs to align health center payment strategies more closely with broader payment reform efforts.

The report, “Community Health Centers and Medicaid Payment Reform: Emerging Lessons from Medicaid Expansion States,” is available at the following link.