BMC Health System and Southcoast Health System to enroll MassHealth patients in Accountable Care Organization model

BOSTON and NEW BEDFORD – The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has selected, for the purposes of entering into contract negotiations, a proposal which will enable Southcoast Health System (“Southcoast Health”) in New Bedford to enroll low income children and adults covered by MassHealth (Medicaid) in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model of care. Slated to begin in January 2018, Southcoast Health’s MassHealth patients seen by its primary care providers will transition to an ACO model of care designed to improve care and slow the rapid growth in MassHealth costs.

Southcoast Health has formed an ACO alliance with BMC Health System, including BMC HealthNet Plan, to serve these patients. As a clinically integrated provider organization, Southcoast Health is well positioned to support MassHealth patients in this new ACO structure through the services its providers offer at Southcoast Hospitals Group, Southcoast Physicians Group, Southcoast Health Network, the Southcoast VNA and participating community providers.

Under the new ACO model, care will be structured to include everything patients need to stay healthy. This includes both outpatient and inpatient services as well as community-based services for behavioral health, substance use disorders, rehabilitation home health, adult day care, and long term services and supports.

Southcoast Health President & CEO Keith A. Hovan said “the partnership with BMC Health System is an important step forward in our commitment to our MassHealth patients. This will be an opportunity for us to combine our strengths to deliver the highest quality coordinated care at a lower cost. We will place strong emphasis on making sure our patients have a seamless connection to a range of community-based supports and resources.”

BMC Health System President Kate Walsh added that the organization’s longstanding patient and community-centered approach, understanding of MassHealth cost drivers, and its commitment to innovative, new approaches to improve care has made BMC Health System an attractive partner for Southcoast Health. “We’re looking forward to combining our experience and talents to improve care for MassHealth patients and reduce costs for the Commonwealth,” said Walsh.

BMC HealthNet Plan President Susan Coakley noted the longstanding relationship between Southcoast Health and the Plan to support MassHealth members and patients under the managed care organization program. “This is an important new phase in our strong partnership with Southcoast Health to serve MassHealth members in a new and innovative way through an ACO.”