Baystate Franklin Medical Center to participate in Medicaid Waiver Program

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Franklin Medical Center is participating in a Medicaid Waiver Program that aims to save hospitals’ money, while also improving care for Medicaid patients.

Baystate Health is one of the largest Medicaid providers in the state. Since Medicaid only covers 75% of costs, Baystate loses about $40-million a year from it.

The state’s new Medicaid Waiver Program is meant to make up for the shortfall, while also improving patient care.

Congressman Richard Neal visited Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield on Tuesday, to discuss the hospital’s participation in the program. “The Medicaid waiver, which was recently approved by the federal government, offers some opportunities for experimentation, it moves in the direction of an accountable care organization,” he said.

Baystate Health President Mark Keroack told 22News the waiver will transition hospitals from a ‘fee based system,’ to an ‘accountable care organization system,’ which will ultimately, change the way they care for patients. “It provides incentives in terms of how we’re paid. We’re moving away from being paid for every visit and every encounter, and instead a group of patients is assigned to a group of primary care doctors, we have to hit on certain quality measures,” he said.

The major difference is health care providers will be paid based off of the quality of care, instead of the number of tests and procedures they perform.

Baystate Health is still waiting to hear how much money their hospitals will receive once the waiver takes effect, on July 1, 2017.