Press Release: Thursday, July 12, 2018

HMOs Provided $188 Million in Community Benefits for Massachusetts Residents in Fiscal Year 2017

HMOs Provided $188 Million in Community Benefits for Massachusetts Residents in Fiscal Year 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 7/11/2018

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

BOSTON — Six Massachusetts Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) provided more than $188 million in community benefits for Massachusetts residents in fiscal year 2017, according to reports published today by Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office. 

These community benefits include funding for a range of community health improvement programs and more than $130 million in contributions by HMOs to the state’s Health Safety Net, which pays for care for uninsured and underinsured residents who do not have access to affordable health coverage.

“Community benefits dollars are an important way for HMOs to invest in community health,” AG Healey said. “As we transition to the updated Community Benefits Guidelines, we value the ongoing work of Massachusetts HMOs in addressing the needs of our state’s most vulnerable populations.”

AG Healey’s Community Benefits Program supports a key component of the mission of hospitals and HMOs. The office’s Community Benefits Guidelines encourage hospitals and HMOs to build upon their commitment to address unmet community health needs and social determinants of health each year by formalizing their approach to planning for annual benefits, collaborating with community representatives in developing programs, and filing annual reports with the AG’s Office on their efforts. 

In 2017, AG Healey convened health care experts to advise on updates to the AG’s Community Benefits Program and undertook a year-long revision of the guidelines to establish a more collaborative and community-driven approach by hospitals and HMOs in Massachusetts.

The updated Community Benefits Guidelines were published in February 2018 and will be fully effective starting in Fiscal Year 2019. The new guidelines improve coordination of hundreds of millions of dollars invested in community health programs by hospitals and HMOs.

Last month, the AG’s Office announced that Massachusetts hospitals provided $601 million in community benefits in Fiscal Year 2017. All annual reports are available at www.mass.gov/ago/communitybenefits.

The Community Benefits Program is managed by Project Manager Elana Brochin and Assistant Attorneys General Sandra Wolitzky and Amara Azubuike, all of AG Healey’s Health Care Division.