Health Policy Commission Makes $10 Million Available for Community Hospitals

Eligible institutions from across the state can apply for the funds.

The Health Policy Commission (HPC), a new independent state agency that monitors health care delivery, reforms payment systems, and develops policies to reduce overall cost growth while improving the quality of patient care, has made $10 million available in funding for certain Massachusetts community hospitals. Eligible hospitals from across the state can apply for up to $500,000 from the first phase of the program, which is called Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation (CHART), and focuses on enhancing community hospitals’ delivery of efficient, effective health care.

CHART was established through the state’s cost containment law in 2012, which provides phased investments to promote care coordination, integration, and delivery transformations; advance electronic health records adoption and information exchange among providers; increase alternative payment methods and accountable care organizations; and enhance patient safety, access to behavioral health services, and coordination between hospitals and community-based providers and organizations.

“The HPC is providing these funds to help community hospitals restructure the care they provide so as to improve quality and lower costs,” said Dr. Stuart Altman, chair of the HPC.

The CHART Investment Program will disperse $119.08 million over a four-year period. At a board meeting in October, HPC commissioners approved Phase 1 that makes $10 million immediately available. The HPC will accept Phase 1 applications until December 11, 2013 and expects to announce award recipients in early January 2014. To apply, click here.

“Community hospitals are an essential part of the equation to achieve a high value health care system,” said Dr. Paul Hattis, a member of the HPC and chair of its Community Health Care Investment and Consumer Involvement Committee that developed CHART. “Phase 1 of CHART will set a strong and immediate foundation for our future work, and position us to bring about long-term, sustainable change at the institutions communities across our Commonwealth depend on.”