The Health Policy Commission (HPC) last Wednesday announced a new grant program for eligible providers to help them reduce avoidable acute care use “by investing in innovative care delivery models that are community-based, collaborative, and sustainable.”
Up to $10 million is available, which comes from remaining funds in the Distressed Hospital Fund and the Payment Reform Fund, which was funded from gaming revenues. The HPC said CHART-eligible hospitals and HPC-certified ACOs and ACO participants will be given preference for the awards, which can range up to $750,000 each. Applicants are responsible for a 25% in-kind financial contribution.
There are two funding tracks. One is for innovative models that address health-related social needs of complex patients to prevent a future acute care hospital visit. The other is for innovative models that address the behavioral health care needs of complex patients. HPC specified that it will use up to $3 million of the $10 million to address opioid use disorder treatment in the ED by initiating medication-assisted treatment and connecting patients to community-based behavioral health services.
HPC Executive Director David Seltz said at the HPC meeting, “We think that with this $10 million investment we can continue to be in support of the leading edge of some of these models that can do two great things: have great patient outcomes and also reduce costs and unnecessary utilization.”
The HPC said it will work with MassHealth to ensure the new HPC funding is coordinated with the goals of the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP). To avoid duplication between the two somewhat similar programs, HPC stipulates that “certain patient populations receiving enhanced services through MassHealth ACOs and DSRIP funding may not be included as target populations for HPC funds.”
The full RFP is expected to be released this week.