Mixed results for Massachusetts efforts to integrate mental healthcare

An alternative payment model aimed at driving care coordination did not improve coordination or care quality for patients with mental illnesses, but it did not hurt their access to care either, according to researchers from Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Researchers analyzed claims data from 2006 to 2011 to determine the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Alternative Quality Contract's impact on mental healthcare use and spending, total spending and care quality. The research found participating organizations have stepped up their commitment to mental health integration since entering the program, but it remains too early to draw conclusions about these efforts' effectiveness. Study announcement