Frequently Asked Questions

Start by reviewing the TA Domains, which were developed based on feedback from MassHealth ACOs and CPs regarding the types of TA services they are prioritizing in their first year of operations. Also, be sure to consult with your ACO/CP Contract Manager, since they have a comprehensive view of your ACO’s or CP’s strengths and challenges, as well as knowledge about the resources available through the DSRIP TA Program to address them. And please be sure to reference the TA Competency Areas, which offer a broad framework for building and strengthening your ACO or CP over the long term.

TA Competency Areas outline the key spaces within which ACOs and CPs must continually maximize their capabilities in order to achieve improved health outcomes and member experience, and decreased total cost of care for MassHealth members. They are intended to inspire those immersed in the daily grind of building and running a MassHealth ACO or CP to look up and remember the ideal state they are striving to attain. To that end, TA Competency Areas are meant to be aspirational and to trigger conversations at the ACO or CP about not just what needs to be done, but what could ultimately be achieved. They also offer a structure for assessing the evolution of ACO and CP TA priorities over five years of hands-on experience and learning about what works and what doesn’t for MassHealth ACOs and CPs.

TA Domains categorize the expertise and services offered by TA Vendors. They are intended to make it easier to navigate the TA Catalog and find a TA Vendor that is well qualified to meet your TA needs. TA Domains were developed based on feedback from MassHealth ACOs and CPs regarding their TA priorities during the first year of operations. All TA Vendors were procured through a competitive process to ensure that they have demonstrated expertise and experience in the identified TA Domains.

TA Competency Areas provide a framework for thinking about building ACO and CP capacity that is flexible enough and sturdy enough to be useful across the five years of the 1115 waiver (and beyond). Since TA Competency Areas are broad and high-level, they capture all of the other standards that MassHealth ACOs and CPs must address, some of which – like readiness criteria – reflect a nearer-term focus.

Yes! If you have numerous TA priorities, you can work with multiple TA Vendors on distinct projects.

Yes, ACOs and CPs may engage any TA Vendor in the Vendor Catalog to work with them in any area that they chose. Please note, however, that TA Vendors were approved for the Vendor Catalog based on their demonstrated experience and expertise in distinct TA Domains. Please also note that MassHealth and Abt Associates must approve all TA applications and negotiated scopes of work and budgets prior to the start of any TA project work.

The first TA Cards were issued on September 21, 2018. New TA Cards are issued annually starting January 1, 2019 through 2022. Each TA Card is typically good for one year; however, TA Card end dates are often extended, and there can be an overlap in active TA Card periods as a result. If you have questions about which TA Cards are currently active, please see here or contact us.

Please note that both the available TA funding overall and the methodologies for allocating that funding across individual ACOs and CPs may shift from year to year.

The TA funds are an additional source of funding provided by MassHealth’s DSRIP Statewide Investments program. The only cost you might need to consider is staff time to work on the TA project, or other costs associated with implementing the TA, if there are any. You can also supplement your TA Card funding with DSRIP startup and ongoing funds, or another fund from another source, if you would like to pursue a larger scope of work in your TA project(s).

If your partner is willing to participate in the TA effort, they are welcome to be a part of the process; however, TA Card funds can only be utilized to pay TA Vendors available through the TA Catalog. ACOs and CPs are also welcome to combine TA Cards to work together on a larger TA project. (Projects focused on developing shared workflows and/or data sharing between ACOs and CPs are two examples of potential ACO/CP combined TA projects.)

No. The limit is defined by the amount of TA dollars you have as your annual TA Card funding allocation.

Part of the benefit of the TA Marketplace is that vendors are providing discounted rates, so your TA Card funding goes as far as possible. While TA Vendors may have different rates, each TA project will have a firm fixed price for the scope of work negotiated by you and the TA Vendor, so you will know up front how much of your TA Card you will use and how much you still have available. You will have the opportunity to contact vendors directly to discuss and agree upon a scope of work and budget before committing to your proposed TA project.

It is up to you, but we can help! The TA Vendor Catalog will give you a good sense of each TA Vendor, in which areas their expertise aligns, and their capabilities and competencies. Each TA Vendor profile also includes a quick link button that lets you message the TA Vendor if you would like to learn more. If a vendor stands out and seems like the right fit for your TA priorities, you should complete the brief application to start the TA project approval process with MassHealth. If you are unsure which vendor may be the best fit for your priorities, but know the type of TA project you would like to pursue, you can indicate that on your brief application or contact us in advance and we can help you find a vendor that meets your needs.

Please complete the brief application to start the approval process with MassHealth. The application will ask you to indicate the TA Vendor from the TA Vendor Catalog you would like to work with and briefly describe the TA project you wish to pursue. Abt Associates and MassHealth will review and approve your TA application, and you can begin the process of working with your chosen TA Vendor to further define the TA project scope.

Abt Associates and MassHealth will work together to review all TA applications. The MassHealth Statewide Investments Team and ACO and CP Program Teams will review the proposed TA projects. This review is to ensure that projects chosen by ACOs and CPs align with the overall priorities of the MassHealth program and the specific priorities that have been discussed between ACOs, CPs, and their MassHealth Contract Managers. In the event that a proposed TA project is far outside the scope of these priorities, MassHealth will reach out to the ACO or CP to discuss the project in more detail.

Yes. For ACOs and CPs, Bi-Annual Reports must be completed and shared with Abt and MassHealth. Reports must be completed and shared with Abt and MassHealth. For TA Vendors, Quarterly Reports must be completed and shared with Abt and MassHealth. The reports are a quick and easy way for us to stay in touch and follow your progress, and ensure you are satisfied with your experience participating in the TA Marketplace.

Not at all. The content in the TA Resources section could be very helpful if you are working on health care quality and delivery improvements. However, only MassHealth ACOs and CPs are eligible to receive vendor support through the TA Marketplace.

A TA Card is an amount of funding allocated to each MassHealth ACO and CP that can be used towards the services of TA Vendors from the TA Vendor Catalog. The TA Card funding amounts will change over the course of the five-year TA Program.