The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Program Year 5: Transition to a New Managed Care Organization

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Abstract

Year 5 of the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Program was a transition to management by a new private managed care organization. Fifty-eight providers interviewed for an ongoing panel survey reported slightly lower levels of quality, access, utilization, and length of stay than a year earlier. Relationships with providers and advocates improved after an initial difficult period, while consumer and family involvement at all levels remained low. The greatest changes in managed care appeared to take place during the initial transition from fee-for-service care, but intractable problems continue, and full participation of stakeholders seems difficult to achieve.

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