Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

MEMBER MOMENTS: Massachusetts’ Historic Waiver Featured in Modern Healthcare

Voices in Healthcare logo

The national publication Modern Healthcare recently highlighted Massachusetts hospitals’ commitment to the innovative Section 1115 waiver that ties Medicaid payments to the ability of hospital to meet equity measures.

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2012 authorized up to $2.2 billion in Medicaid dollars, via a Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver, to be distributed to Massachusetts hospitals that meet annual statewide goals. Acute-care hospitals are contributing an additional $875 million through a hospital tax to fund the program,” the article notes.

It then quotes health and equity leaders from Tufts Medicine and Cape Cod Healthcare discussing the big steps hospitals are making to build the infrastructure needed to meet the equity standards, as well as the benefits to patients that will flow from the waiver.

“The initiative comes as federal regulators and accrediting agencies are beginning to enact similar — but less stringent — requirements related to collecting data and narrowing disparities,” the publication reported. “If the state program is successful, it could be a model for aligning organizations’ financial interests with equitable health outcomes, said Dan McHale, vice president of healthcare finance and policy for the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association.”