MassHealth Technical Assistance (TA) Application Form
Please complete this form to submit a request to initiate a MassHealth Technical Assistance (TA) project. TA projects are expected to be completed within the first TA Card year (i.e. September 21, 2018 – December 31, 2019). A TA project that is completed within the first TA Card year can be the first phase of a longer project. Individual ACOs and CPs can also combine TA Cards to undertake a larger joint TA project. If you have any questions about completing this form, please contact Abt Associates (the TA Program Managing Vendor).
Is your organization an ACO or a CP?
- ACO X
Please identify the person in your ACO or CP who is directly accountable for the progress and successful completion of the requested TA:
- Name: John Smith
- Title: ACO Program Manager
- Organization: ACO #1
- Email: JohnSmith@gmail.com
- Phone number
Please identify the Competency Area(s) the requested TA is intended to strengthen:
- Competency Area #1 X Respect, understand, and engage MassHealth members
- Competency Area #2 X Honor, enlist, and develop provider and care team insights and capabilities
- Competency Area #3 Access, apply, and exchange data across all entities involved in MassHealth member wellness and care
- Competency Area #4 Develop and implement financial models that promote provider and staff buy-in and advance the achievement of quality benchmarks, appropriate utilization of care, and long-term organizational sustainability
- Competency Area #5 Provide coordinated care and/or complex care management that is highly responsive to MassHealth member needs and preferences
- Competency Area #6 Actively develop and maintain a foundation of, and disseminate up-to-date knowledge in, all areas relevant to building and running a high performing, sustainable MassHealth ACO or CP
Please describe your proposed TA project, including the goals of the project. (Max: 2-3 paragraphs):
Our ACO recently hired 18 Community Health Workers (CHWs) to serve as an integral component of our practices’ care teams. We have a solid understanding of the important role of CHWs, their capacity to address health-related social needs, and the holistic perspective they bring to primary care. Although a couple of our practices have experience employing and deploying CHWs, we do not have a well-established process for integrating CHWs into workflows and request TA support to accomplish this. We would like to engage a TA Vendor to assist us in developing standard processes for integrating CHWs into care teams that can be easily adapted to and implemented by individual practices.
The goals of our TA project are to:
- Outline the potential challenges and opportunities associated with integrating CHWs into care teams in our ACO’s primary care practices
- Develop standard processes for integrating CHWs into care teams in our ACO’s primary care practices that are grounded in that understanding
- Test those processes by implementing them in a small sample of practices
- Revise standard processes based on lessons learned and make recommendations for ACO-wide rollout
Please explain how the requested TA will strengthen your ACO/CP within your identified Competency Area(s). Please also provide any other details that would help your TA Vendor help you achieve your TA project goals. (Max: 3 paragraphs):
The proposed TA project will strengthen our ACO within Competency Area #1, since well-prepared CHWs whose expertise is leveraged effectively are uniquely capable of both: 1) engaging members from diverse backgrounds in care, and; 2) helping healthcare providers better understand the needs and preferences of those members. This project will also strengthen our ACO within Competency Area #2 in regards to engaging providers as key members of a care team and providing resources that support their development and effectiveness in new models of care.
If there is overlap between the requested TA and the work supported by DSRIP Participation Plan funds, please explain how the requested TA is not duplicative of other DSRIP-supported efforts. If there is no overlap, please write “not applicable.” (Max: 3 paragraphs):
Our ACO is leveraging DSRIP Participation Plan funds to pay for CHWs attending CHW core competency training. Although there could be potential for overlap, the DSRIP funds are strictly for training while the TA project funds would enable our ACO to understand and implement best practices for integration of already trained CHWs.
This TA project is not duplicative of any other DSRIP-supported efforts at this time.
For ACOs: Please describe how the proposed TA project will address the management priorities that you have discussed with your ACO Contract Manager. If your proposed TA project does not address a MassHealth ACO management priority, please provide a brief rationale. (Max: 2 paragraphs):
For CPs: Please describe how the proposed TA project will advance the goals outlined in your DSRIP Participation Plan. If your proposed TA project does not align with your DSRIP Participation Plan goals, please provide a brief rationale. (Max: 2 paragraphs)
The proposed TA project addresses the management priority of provider engagement and model of care implementation across the ACO. These CHWs will serve as critical resources in the implementation of the model of care across all practices in the ACO. A key gap in the current implementation is around member engagement and connecting members to community-based resources to address social determinants of health once needs are identified. These CHWs will fill critical gaps and allow the ACO’s model of care to be implemented across practices.
Additionally, CHWs will play a critical role on the care team, offloading work from primary care providers and mid-level practitioners so that they can work at the top of their licenses. Providers are currently experiencing an increased volume of work related to the ACO program, and CHWs will offload critical functions and serve as integral members of the care team.
Please identify the TA Vendor(s) that you would like to engage. MassHealth and Abt (the Managing Vendor) will match you with a TA Vendor based on your identified TA Vendor preference, TA vendor capacity, and TA needs. MassHealth will honor an ACO’s first priority vendor selection to the greatest extent possible.
- TA Vendor #1
- TA Vendor #2
- TA Vendor #3
- TA Vendor #4 X
- TA Vendor #5…
- No preference
From which TA Domain did you select your TA Vendor(s)?
- Actuarial and Financial
- Care Coordination/Integration
- Community-Based Care and Social Determinants of Health X
- Consumer Engagement
- Flexible Services
- Health Information Technology/Health Information Exchange (HIT/HIE)
- Performance Improvement
- Population Health Management
- I did not select a TA Vendor based on a TA Domain
Please explain your TA Vendor preference (e.g., existing relationship with this vendor, aware of their subject matter expertise, etc). If you do not have a TA Vendor preference, please write “not applicable.”
We have heard numerous good remarks related to [TA Vendor] strengths in the area of integrating community-based workers into workflows. We have also had a brief phone conversation with [TA Vendor] regarding the proposed TA project, which was extremely positive.
Is your year one project the initial phase of a multi-year project that you will continue in subsequent TA Program years?
- Yes X
Please identify the anticipated start and end date of the year one project, as well as the related estimated cost. If this is the first phase of a multi-year project, please provide this information only for year one.
- Start Date: July 2018
- End Date: November 2018
- Estimated cost [if you don’t know the estimated cost, please put N/A]: $150,000This is a rough estimate based on our brief initial conversation with [TA Vendor].
ACOs and CPs will receive an allocation of TA funding (i.e. a new TA Card) in each of the five years of the 1115 waiver. Please briefly describe 3-4 potential TA projects that your ACO or CP might wish to undertake using your TA allocation in future years. This information will help us ensure that we engage a complement of TA Vendors with the capacity to meet upcoming ACO and CP TA priorities. It will also give us a better sense of ACOs’ and CPs’ overall planning related to their use of TA funds.
Please note that TA funding allocation amounts will vary from year to year for individual ACOs and CPs.
Potential future projects include:
We believe medical coding errors at our ACO result in inefficiencies. Thus, we’d like to engage a TA Vendor to help identify weaknesses in our ACO’s medical coding capabilities and help us develop best practices for coding.
There is a substantial need for affordable housing among our members. We already have existing relationships with some housing organizations and frequently refer members to their services, but we’d like a TA Vendor to help us develop processes to share relevant member data with these housing organizations.
We recognize our members have challenges with healthy eating and shortages of healthy food. Thus, we would like to implement a healthy food prescription program and would like to work with a TA Vendor to provide guidance on best practices for such a program. Additionally, better integrating CHWs into care teams and workflows through our year one TA project will hopefully help our ACO better identify these challenges.