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The History of Commonwealth Care Alliance

The organization known today as Commonwealth Care Alliance® has its roots in a decades-long collaboration between dedicated clinicians, advocacy groups, community organizers, philanthropic funders, government agencies, and policymakers.

Beginning in the 1970s, visionary healthcare leaders in Massachusetts came together and stayed together to build a statewide community health movement that arguably has no counterpart anywhere in the nation. Inspired by the values of human dignity, individual empowerment, and fair access to care, this movement built a strong network of community health centers in low-income neighborhoods across Massachusetts. It introduced a range of care delivery innovations that measurably improved the lives and independence of vulnerable populations – including the frail, the elderly, the sick, and those with disabilities.
 

Complete integration of care

 

The core idea was a truly integrated model of enhanced primary care, using an interdisciplinary team to provide and coordinate the full spectrum of care – primary care, behavioral health care, and social services and supports.

For the past thirty years, a number of organizations have been at the forefront of implementing this care model:


The leaders of these organizations collaborated to found Commonwealth Care Alliance.
 

15 Years of Uncommon Care


Commonwealth Care Alliance® (CCA) incorporated on March 18, 2003, with $2 million in grants for initial capitalization. Led by Dr. Robert Master, CCA successfully applied to become a Medicare/Medicaid Senior Care Options (SCO) contractor. The following year, CCA launched one of the Commonwealth’s first SCO plans, starting with just 182 members.

Initially operating in six counties across Massachusetts, CCA partnered with five sites to provide SCO primary care: Boston’s Community Medical Group (BCMG), Upham’s Corner Health Center, Brightwood Health Center in Springfield, Elder Service Plan of the North Shore, and Neponset Health Center. BCMG would grow to become Commonwealth Community Care (CCC), the clinical affiliate of CCA.

In 2013, after nearly ten years of successful operations, with SCO membership growing, CCA launched one of the nation’s and Commonwealth’s first One Care Dual Demonstration Medicare-Medicaid Programs (MMPs). Building on this launch, CCA has been awarded numerous prestigious grants and CCA’s One Care Plan has recognized for two years in a row (2017 and 2018) as a top-rated MMP based on the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (CAPHS) survey, administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We’re proud to have expanded our mission to serve individuals across 10 counties in Massachusetts, including many with special healthcare needs. As of April 1, 2018, CCA surpassed 27,000 members enrolled in the health plans it offers. CCA continues to be nationally recognized as a model for how to provide high-quality care at lower cost for dually eligible Medicare and Medicaid patients.

To learn about important milestones in CCA history, view our timeline PDF for a quick look at 15 years of uncommon care. 
 
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