November 21, 2017

Steward Physicians and Norwood Hospital Join Innovative MassHealth Program to Improve Health Care Outcomes for Members

Steward Physicians and Norwood Hospital Join Innovative MassHealth Program to Improve Health Care Outcomes for Members
As part of new Steward Health Choice health plan for MassHealth patients, local Steward doctors and Norwood Hospital will play key roles in improved, local MassHealth care coordination

November 13, 2017 – Through the new Steward Health Choice health plan designed and tailored to better serve MassHealth patients, Neponset Valley area physicians within the rapidly expanding Steward Health Care Network, along with Norwood Hospital, will be at the forefront of a major statewide restructuring of the MassHealth program aimed at further improving care coordination and outcomes for MassHealth patients.

Hundreds of physicians in the Neponset Valley area will participate in Steward Health Choice.

Effective March 1, 2018, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) like those originally pioneered within the Steward Health Care Network for Medicare and commercial patients will now be available to help improve the experience and outcomes of MassHealth members. This ACO model is being adopted by Steward and several providers across the state.

“We are excited to welcome MassHealth patients into our new ACO plan, Steward Health Choice,” said Dr. Mark Girard, President of Steward Health Care Network. “It’s wonderful that the MassHealth patients in Neponset Valley communities and at Norwood Hospital will have access to this superior form of health coverage that for too long was limited only to Medicare and commercial patients. We applaud the state for these reforms.”

More information is available at

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Steward Health Care Network (SHCN) provides world class care to more than two million patients annually. SHCN's approximately 4,800 providers include both primary care physicians and a full range of specialists who are committed to meeting the needs of our patients. Established in 2008 as the physician network for the hospitals of Steward Health Care System, SHCN extends across ten states and takes pride in its community-based care model, which drives value-added tools and services to our communities, patients, physicians and hospitals across the continuum of care. In addition, SHCN promotes care coordination and collaboration within the network in order to provide high quality, efficient care to patients. With Steward in the community, all residents can be sure that there is a world class doctor close to where you live.

The network is also responsible for the implementation and execution of Steward’s managed care contracts, medical management services, quality improvement programs, data analysis and information services.

About Norwood Hospital
Norwood Hospital is a full-service, 215-bed community hospital for adults and children with a focus on delivering world-class health care along with the latest advances in technology and treatment options. Norwood Hospital is part of the Steward Health Care System LLC, who owns and operates 36 community hospitals nationwide which regularly receive top awards for quality and safety and has more than 37,000 employees. The Steward network includes thousands of physicians who care for approximately 2 million patients annually. Additional information is available at


Additional background form MassHealth on the new ACO options available for MassHealth patients:

The new ACO reforms support MassHealth’s commitment to:
• Improve quality and member experience and integrate the full spectrum of care including medical care, behavioral health and long term services and supports (LTSS)
• Provide clinical and community based support for populations with behavioral health and long term health care needs,
• Shift incentives to hold providers accountable for quality and total cost of care for a population of patients,
• Invest in primary care and community workforce development,
• Allow for innovative ways of addressing the social determinants of health, and
• Expand access to substance misuse disorder treatment, including treatment for co-occurring disorders.

The state’s ACO program is a major component in its five-year innovative 1115 Medicaid waiver bringing in $1.8 billion in new federal investments to restructure the current MassHealth system. ACOs will receive more than $100 million in new investments throughout the remainder of 2017 to support the transition of health care providers providing value-based care. Funds will be used to:

· Improve electronic health records and ACO analytic capabilities,
· Reduce avoidable inpatient and emergency department utilization, and
· Implement other key initiatives for ACOs to improve health outcomes and member experience under the new payment models.

Member enrollment in ACOs will be based upon their relationship with their current primary care provider to ensure continuity of care. All ACO models support MassHealth’s commitment to invest in community based organizations, referred to as certified community partners for behavioral health and long term services and supports.
Additional information on MassHealth’s planned restructuring and payment reforms for its 1.9 million members may be found on the MassHealth Innovations website at

The development and implementation of the ACO program is being supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-12-001 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.