Massachusetts Community-Based Organization Perspectives on Medicaid Redesign

Am J Prev Med. 2019 Dec;57(6 Suppl 1):S74-S81. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2019.07.017.


Introduction: The purpose of the study is to investigate how community-based organizations perceive Medicaid policy changes to address the social determinants of health.

Methods: This study included 46 key informant interviews, representing 44 community-based organizations across Massachusetts conducted from September 2017 to March 2018. The interviews were designed to collect community-based organizations' perceptions of Medicaid policy changes. An Advisory Board was empaneled for feedback on data collection and analysis. Massachusetts was chosen as a study site in light of explicit policy efforts to incentivize healthcare organizations to take a more active role in social determinants of health, most notably through the creation of Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations.

Results: The community-based organizations expressed optimism about future partnerships with healthcare organizations. This optimism existed alongside the recognition that healthcare organizations and community-based organizations can have conflicting agendas, including misaligned outcomes of interest and timelines. Community-based organizations struggled to define a clear strategy for partnership in the face of incomplete information about how the final Medicaid redesign would proceed and what healthcare providers would be looking for in a partner.

Conclusions: Changes to Medicaid policy can catalyze interest in partnership between healthcare organizations and community-based organizations. To minimize the impact of conflicting agendas, policymakers and healthcare leadership should ensure community-based organizations are part of strategy development and social service program implementation.

Supplement information: This article is part of a supplement entitled Identifying and Intervening on Social Needs in Clinical Settings: Evidence and Evidence Gaps, which is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kaiser Permanente, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accountable Care Organizations*
  • Community Participation*
  • Health Care Reform / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Massachusetts
  • Medicaid
  • Policy Making*
  • Social Determinants of Health*
  • United States