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Western Mass. Hospitals Receive Payments For Behavioral Health Treatment

Jim Levulis

A group of western Massachusetts hospitals has received funding to improve behavioral health treatment in the state.The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission and the state’s Office of Health and Human Services have reached a $12 million funding agreement to increase Medicaid payments for behavioral health services at Disproportionate Share Hospitals, which serve many low-income residents. Mercy, Franklin, Baystate, Holyoke and Berkshire medical centers are also receiving supplemental grants.

“We’re getting older, sicker and poorer,” said David Phelps, CEO of Berkshire Health Systems during a recent interview about healthcare in the region. “Which means most people who come to us for care are depending upon Medicare or Medicaid as the primary sponsor of their healthcare services. They are the worst payers to providers.”

BMC is receiving nearly $330,000 in a supplemental payment. Springfield’s Mercy Medical Center is getting $3.8 million.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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