Massachusetts-based care system that started as a grant-funded pilot to integrate medical, behavioral health, and social services for people with significant care needs celebrates 20 years of innovative care
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Commonwealth Care Alliance® (CCA), an integrated care system mission-driven to challenge conventional ways of providing care, especially for individuals with complex care needs, has reached a major milestone – its 20th anniversary. Incorporated in March 2003 in Massachusetts, CCA is now a nationally recognized organization serving more than 100,000 individuals in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Michigan, and California.
Since its founding, CCA has been at the forefront of innovating complex care delivery and developing programs and services to meet the full array of medical, social, and behavioral health needs of people with complex needs – including those with intellectual and physical disabilities.
“CCA was inspired by the values of human dignity, individual empowerment, and fair access to care,” said Chris Palmieri, President and CEO at CCA. “We continue to build on those founding principles. They guide our mission along with our unique approach to whole-person care, which supports essentials of life such as housing, food, and transportation in addition to the medical and behavioral health needs of the individuals CCA serves. We’re proud of the foundation we created in Massachusetts and are excited for the future as we enhance the care experience of the people we serve in the Commonwealth and scale this experience across the country.”
CCA traces its history back to a statewide community health movement in the 1970s that fostered a collaboration of provider and consumer advocacy groups with a shared vision for using interdisciplinary teams to deliver and coordinate medical care, behavioral healthcare, and social services that impact overall health. After decades of implementing and refining this care model, the leaders of these organizations founded Commonwealth Care Alliance, securing $2 million in grant funding for initial capitalization. Today, CCA is building on its mission by introducing its proven care model to individuals in Rhode Island, Michigan and California.
As a founding participant in the Massachusetts Senior Care Options program for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, CCA’s uncommon care® model is now consistently recognized as one of the best in the country at managing complex care for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as those who narrowly miss the threshold for Medicaid.
Some of the highlights of CCA’s innovations and partnerships over the last 20 years include:
In 2004, CCA launched one of the Commonwealth’s first Senior Care Options plans, marking the first dual eligible demonstration in Massachusetts and the fourth in the nation approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CCA now serves nearly 15,000 members through its CCA Senior Care Options plan, which achieved a 4.5 out of 5 Star Quality Rating from CMS in 2022.
In 2008, CCA began serving many of its medically and socially complex members via its specialized primary care program, which was founded over 20 years ago and rebranded as CCA Primary Care (in 2021).
In 2013, CCA was a thought leader in the development and implementation of One Care, one of the nation’s first Medicare-Medicaid Plan (MMP) programs and the only such program in the country exclusively serving dual eligible enrollees who are aged 21 to 64. CCA One Care now serves more than 31,000 members and has been recognized as a top-rated MMP since 2016.
In 2015, CCA launched its Community Crisis Stabilization Unit, Marie’s Place®, which provides short-term crisis stabilization for members with acute behavioral health and/or substance use disorder needs as an alternative to hospitalization.
In 2020-2022, CCA helped develop and manage the Commonwealth’s Isolation and Recovery Sites for adults and children that were marginally housed or experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program helped isolate more than 6,500 individuals marginally housed and/or experiencing homelessness with a positive COVID diagnosis.
In 2021, CCA partnered with the Commonwealth once again to lead the state’s COVID vaccination program for homebound individuals. CCA-led teams vaccinated more than 5,500 individuals across the state.
Also in 2021, CCA partnered with the Commonwealth and the city of Boston to create and operate a first-of-its-kind temporary housing community on the former Shattuck Hospital campus in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts to address the housing and substance use disorder crisis. Since its creation, 72 residents have been through, or are currently in, the program and 54 residents have transitioned into permanent housing.
“In the years ahead, we want to apply the experience and knowledge gained throughout our history to support both local and national solutions for improving care that meets individuals’ medical, social determinant, and behavioral health needs,” added Palmieri. “This is particularly important as policymakers and regulators consider ways to better integrate Medicare and Medicaid for eligible beneficiaries. We look forward to this collaboration as we continue to expand our offerings for individuals across the U.S.”
For more information about CCA, visit www.commonwealthcarealliance.org.
About Commonwealth Care Alliance
Commonwealth Care Alliance® (CCA) is an integrated care system influencing innovative models of complex care nationwide. Mission-based and person-centered, CCA focuses on sustainable and evidence-based healthcare breakthroughs that improve the health and well-being of people with significant needs. The CCA uncommon care® model is consistently recognized as one of the best in the country at finding and engaging traditionally hard-to-reach individuals. CCA has been recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” by the 2022 Disability Equality Index®, the world’s most comprehensive benchmarking tool for companies to measure disability workplace inclusion. In addition, The Boston Globe recognized CCA as a Top Place to Work for 2022. Learn more at www.commonwealthcarealliance.org or follow CCA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.