Commonwealth Care Alliance

Commonwealth Care Alliance

About Us > History


The roots of Commonwealth Care Alliance can be found in a decades-long collaboration between dedicated clinicians, advocacy groups, community organizers, philanthropic funders, government agencies, and policymakers. Beginning in the 1970s, visionary leaders in Massachusetts came together and stayed together to build a statewide community health movement that arguably has no counterpart anywhere else in the country. Inspired by the values of human dignity, individual empowerment, and equitable access to care, this movement built a robust network of community health centers in low-income communities across Massachusetts and pioneered an array of care delivery innovations that improved the lives and independence of the frail, sick, and disabled.

The core solution was to develop a new care delivery system, using an integrated team of nurse practitioners, nurses, behavioral health professionals, social services providers, and other professionals to support the primary care clinician. For the past thirty years, four organizations have been at the forefront of implementing this care model: the Boston’s Community Medical Group (BCMG), Commonwealth Care Alliance’s long time clinical affiliate now known as Commonwealth Community Care* and the consumer advocacy organizations Community Catalyst,* Health Care for All (HCFA),* and Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL).* In 2003, leaders of these organizations collaborated to found the Commonwealth Care Alliance and, to this day, they continue to drive healthcare delivery reform in Massachusetts.

Special acknowledgement is also due to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF),* which since the 1980s has been continually providing grant funding vital to the development of Commonwealth Care Alliance and our predecessor organizations. The RWJF funds the national Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS),* which has provided financial support to Commonwealth Care Alliance since our inception.

Since 2003, Commonwealth Care Alliance has been nationally recognized for our highly individualized, compassionate healthcare programs. We were one of the original programs in Massachusetts created to serve the many people covered by Medicaid or “dually eligible” for both Medicaid and Medicare. Step by step, Commonwealth Care Alliance has helped Massachusetts to become the first state in the nation to fulfill the promise of effective healthcare reform, a goal that is now enshrined in national law through the Affordable Care Act.

In summary, Commonwealth Care Alliance:

  • Is a not-for-profit, consumer-governed organization.
  • Is a prepaid care delivery system for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with complex medical needs.
  • Uses Medicare/Medicaid risk-adjusted premiums to redesign care for our members.
  • Provides enhanced primary care and care coordination through multi-disciplinary clinical teams including physicians, nurses, and behavioral health and geriatric specialists.
  • Provides coverage from early intervention to urgent care to long-term services and support.
  • Creates savings from reduced hospitalizations and institutional care.

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