SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has chosen Behavioral Health Network, Inc. (BHN) as one of 20 Community Partners to assist MassHealth members with substantial behavioral health and complicated long-term requirements. 

In order to assist and coordinate treatment for MassHealth members with disabilities, mental illness, substance use disorders, and co-occurring diseases and conditions, BHN will collaborate with local Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ACOs are teams of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers who collaborate to provide members with better treatment and enhance population health. 

According to the designation made by the Commonwealth, BHN has been chosen as the lead agency for both the Behavioral Health and Long-Term Services and Supports. By combining the resources, personnel, and knowledge of BHN, WestMass ElderCare, and Stavros Center for Independent Living, BHN will serve in that capacity as the network’s administrative hub. Eight Long-Term Services and Supports Community Partner organizations and twelve Behavioral Health Community Partner organizations were chosen from all throughout the state. 

The status of “Community Partner” is valid for five years. The Community Partners program has demonstrated a reduction in behavioral health admissions of 30%, a reduction in ER visits of 21%, and a reduction in risk-adjusted total cost of care of 20% during the last three years. The Commonwealth’s Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform, which vastly increases access to mental health and addiction treatment, is supplemented by the Behavioral Health Community Partners initiative.

Some of the program’s objectives for the following five years include reinforcing MassHealth’s dedication to community-based outreach and care coordination for the most at-risk members, utilizing the knowledge of community-based organizations, and continuing to encourage care integration across physical health, behavioral health, long-term services and supports, and health-related social needs.

According to Steve Winn, President and CEO of BHN, “We are thrilled to continue this critical support and coordination service for our most vulnerable residents. We are grateful to our partners at Stavros and WMEC for joining in this effort, and grateful that this expansion program includes children and youth as well as adults.”