What Massachusetts Did

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State of MassachusettsMassachusetts followed a similar, but not identical, path to state policy change and has produced some wide-ranging results.

It has:

  • Created active statewide CHW association
  • Office of CHWs in state public health department
  • Policy mandate for state contractors
  • 2006 state health care reform act:
    • Added CHW to state Public Health Council
    • Mandated report to legislature on CHW policy
    • Follow-up enrollment activity demonstrated value of CHWs
    • Led to creation of CHW credentialing board
    • Resulted in inclusion of CHWs in 2012 payment reform law

[SPEAKER]

Massachusetts followed a similar, but not identical, path to state policy change and has produced some wide-ranging results. It has:

  • Created a statewide CHW association
  • Created a state office of CHWs in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Established a policy mandate for state contractors who employ CHWs
  • Secured significant language on CHWs in a 2006 state health care reform bill that:
    • Gave CHWs a role on the state Public Health Council
    • Mandated a report to legislature on CHW policy
    • Led to the passage of a bill creating a CHW credentialing board
    • Demonstrated the value of CHWs through enrollment activity following passage of the reform bill
    • Led to inclusion of CHWs in 2012 cost containment law

The 2006 Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act was the first major policy achievement concerning CHWs, and in many ways it was a pivotal one. Implementation of reform in Massachusetts required a massive enrollment effort that allowed CHWs to demonstrate concrete results. The report to the legislature mandated by the bill became a major symbol and a tool leading to the introduction of credentialing legislation, which was passed in 2010. This latter bill created a certification board to develop regulations for credentialing of individual CHWs and approval of CHW training programs.