February 7, 2018

The Bridge joins four Central Mass. agencies in ACO partnership

Ken Bates, president and CEO of The Bridge of Central Mass, said a new community partner group his agency is leading will focus on the social determinants impacting health.

Five Worcester-area agencies specializing in behavioral health and long-term care services have joined forces to create a community partner group aimed at serving MassHealth patients under the state's new accountable care program.

The Central Community Health Partnership, led by the Bridge of Central Massachusetts in Worcester, includes Worcester-based AdCare; Northbridge-based Alternatives Unlimited Inc.; Fitchburg-based LUK Inc.; and Sturbridge-based Venture Community Services, according to a statement issued Wednesday by The Bridge of Central Mass.

The partnership comes as MassHealth prepares to launch 17 MassHealth Accountable Care Organizations on March 1, marking a seachange for the state Medicaid program, away from fee-for-service care and toward risk-based contracting to encourage providers to deliver care on budget while working to make patients healthier through better coordination, particularly with behavioral health providers.

The Central Community Health Partnership includes a team of nurses, clinicians, care managers, addiction recovery coaches and care coordinators to serve MassHealth patients.

"The partnership team will skillfully coordinate needed treatment and services with members' primary care providers, and connect them with vital community resources that address the social determinants of health," Ken Bates, president and CEO of The Bridge of Central Mass, said in a statement. "These determinants greatly impact an individual's ability to achieve improved health – including housing, employment, food security, education and health literacy."


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