Care Beyond Coverage: The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation Access Project

Dates: 2008-2009

State: Massachusetts

Client(s): Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation

Services: Applied Research & Evaluation, Health Systems Transformation

Technical Expertise: Health Care Reform, Health Disparities, Population Health, Primary Care

In response to Massachusetts' 2006 health care reform law, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation contracted with JSI to investigate non-insurance-related access barriers to care and to identify feasible solutions. For this project, JSI used a multifaceted research approach, employing both qualitative methods and quantitative methods, conducting a literature review of evidence-based policy solutions, and developing indicators of access to care.

The JSI team found that Massachusetts residents continue to encounter a significant number of barriers in accessing health care, and identified five priority issues impacting post-reform access.

The JSI team continued their research after completion of the project, which resulted in poster presentation at the 2010 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting and an August 2011 Health Affairs article titled "Massachusetts' Health Care Reform Increased Access to Care for Hispanics, but Disparities Remain" that was profiled in the Boston Globe newspaper. The study found that the Massachusetts state health care insurance reform process has increased the number of Hispanics in Massachusetts who have health insurance and a primary care doctor; however, residents who primarily speak Spanish were covered at a lower rate and experienced more barriers to accessing care than English-speaking Hispanics. For more information on the publication, visit JSI's press release: JSI Finds Gains, Disparities in Health Insurance Coverage for Hispanics in Massachusetts


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