Amendment #363 to H4000

Behavioral Health Rate Task Force

Ms. Decker of Cambridge moves to amend the bill by inserting the following new section:-

SECTION XX. (a) There shall be a task force to: (i) evaluate ways to ensure the financial stability of inpatient behavioral health units and facilities; (ii) consider the role of inpatient behavioral health units and facilities within the continuum of behavioral health services; and (iii) address current behavioral health workforce challenges. The task force shall consist of the following members: the executive director of the health policy commission, who shall serve as co-chair; the executive director of the center for health information and analysis, who shall serve as co-chair; the assistant secretary for MassHealth or his/her designee, the commissioner of the department of mental health or his/her designee, the commissioner of the department of public health or his/her designee, and 1 representative from each of the following organizations: the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association; the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society; the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems; the Massachusetts Psychological Association; the Massachusetts Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses; the National Association of Social Workers-Massachusetts Chapter; and the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health.

(b) The task force shall conduct an analysis and issue a report which shall include but not be limited to: (i) a review of the methodologies used for determining reimbursement rates for inpatient hospital behavioral health services provided to MassHealth members including those by MassHealth’s contracted health insurers, health plans, behavioral health management firms, and third party administrators under contract to a Medicaid managed care organization or primary care clinician plan; (ii) an analysis of the estimated payment levels associated with MassHealth reimbursement relative to the cost of providing inpatient hospital behavioral health care in acute hospital units and freestanding facilities; (iii) recommended improvements to MassHealth reimbursement for care provided by inpatient behavioral health units and facilities to promote financial stability, including a review of a cost-based method for rate determination; (iv) an assessment of the utility and limitations of incorporating diagnosis-related group (DRG) classifications in said rate calculation; (v) industry-wide workforce initiatives including, but not limited to, ways to improve recruitment, training, including transitional training opportunities for employment in behavioral health units and facilities and training in new behavioral healthcare modalities including but not limited to telehealth, retention, rates of pay and other methods of ensuring a sustainable, culturally and linguistically-competent behavioral health workforce; and (vi) the role of external economic factors on the development and retention of the behavioral health workforce such as the increases in the minimum wage and competition from other industries.

(c) The task force shall convene its first meeting within 30 days after the effective date of this act. The task force shall submit its report, including any proposed legislation necessary to carry out its recommendations, by filing the same with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the joint committee on health care financing, the joint committee on mental health, substance use and recovery, the joint committee on labor and workforce development and the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than December 31, 2021.

Additional co-sponsor(s) added to Amendment #363 to H4000

Behavioral Health Rate Task Force


Lindsay N. Sabadosa

Elizabeth A. Malia

Nika C. Elugardo

Mike Connolly

David M. Rogers

Steven Ultrino