Last week our old friend Laurie Martinelli (former Executive Director of Health Law Advocates) penned an op-ed in the Boston Globe nicely summing up both the opportunities and risks of new initiatives aimed at integrating care for dually eligible beneficiaries. Laurie, now at NAMI Massachusetts, writes on behalf of the nearly 70,000 Bay State dual eligibles with behavioral health problems. In her piece, she points to some of the promising elements of the Massachusetts proposal such as new access to community based alternatives to hospitalization and a single appeals and grievance process. But, she also notes where there is room for improvement: clarifying whether a behavioral health specialist can qualify as a “patient-centered medical home,” expanding transportation services and ensuring adequate provider rates.
At bottom, Laurie’s message echoes what we at CC have been saying all along: the need is great, the opportunity is before us, but the details matter. And, as Laurie concludes, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”