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How are Massachusetts Community-Based Organizations Responding to the Health Care Sector's Entry into Social Determinants of Health?
In Massachusetts, the state's Medicaid program, MassHealth, is implementing a number of reforms as part of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program that was approved as part of the state's most recent Medicaid 1115 demonstration waiver extension. MassHealth has also taken steps to address the social determinants of health (SDOH) through its care delivery reform efforts. This report aims to address the following question: How are CBOs responding to the health care sector's movement into SDOH programming in Massachusetts? The research team employed a key informant interview method to address the research question and conducted 46 interviews with leadership and high-level program staff from a diverse set of CBOs, including ones focused on food, housing, legal services, and more, across Massachusetts between September 2017 and March 2018. The findings highlight the strategic tensions that Massachusetts CBOs face as they develop strategies to respond to health care's entry into SDOH. This report identifies five emergent themes and highlights implications of this work for policymakers.