BHS, CHP, and Fallon Health Announce Renewed Partnership

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WORCESTER, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems (BHS), Community Health Programs (CHP), and other members of the Health Collaborative of the Berkshires PHO (PHO) announced a renewed partnership with Fallon Health to provide quality, lower-cost health care to members and communities under the state's Medicaid program, which is called MassHealth.
"The Berkshire Fallon Health Collaborative has been essential in ensuring that MassHealth members across the Berkshires have access to primary care providers and services," said Darlene Rodowicz, President and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems. "Our continued partnership with Fallon Health and CHP is an integral part of our mission to serve the Berkshire community with the highest standard of care."
The PHO and Fallon MassHealth Accountable Care Organization (ACO) offering, known as the Berkshire Fallon Health Collaborative (BFHC), will be available to eligible Medicaid members in the Berkshires. The partnership supports the state's continuation of the Medicaid ACO program.
Effective April 1, 2023, MassHealth members identified by the Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS) as having a Berkshire Health Systems, Community Health Programs, or other PHO Primary Care Provider (PCP) will be enrolled in BFHC. MassHealth is a state-administered Medicaid program—funded by the state and federal governments—that provides health care coverage to eligible individuals.
"Our participation in the MassHealth ACO program aligns with Fallon Health's mission and continues a 45-year commitment to caring for those who need us most, predominantly through government-sponsored health insurance programs," said Richard Burke, President and CEO of Fallon Health, noting that Fallon Health was the first health plan in the state to receive a contract to cover Medicaid recipients—and the first health plan in the country to offer a Medicare Advantage plan. 
Today, nearly 9 out of every 10 of its members are enrolled in a public health plan.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with the outstanding providers at BHS and CHP in our shared efforts to find new, innovative ways to advance primary care that puts patients first and that promotes behavioral health and health equity," added Burke.
"We look forward to building on our partnerships with Berkshire Health Systems and Fallon Health to deliver health care and other services to CHP's patients throughout the Berkshires," said Richard H. Gregg, Interim CEO of Community Health Programs.
To enroll in BFHC, individuals must live in the service area, which includes all of Berkshire County.

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Herberg Middle Schoolers Thank Firefighters With Gift Baskets

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Firefighters were all smiles on Wednesday as they received tokens of appreciation from four Herberg Middle schoolers.

Emirhan Ozdemir, Aidan Underdown, Markus Carpenter and Stevie Kazimierczak gifted each of the city's five stations with a basket of coffee, hot cocoa, tea, and snacks after raising $425 as part of a civics project.

Crews gathered at the department headquarters on Columbus Avenue for the exchange.

"That was a great thing you guys did.  You came up with this idea, you got the whole school revved up and that's awesome.  Everybody got together and that's great," Chief Thomas Sammons told the students, adding that it was a great civics lesson and shows how far an idea can go with dedication.

"We are very thankful that you guys thought of us," he said.

The boys, who are all sports fans, were inspired to raise money because of the outpouring of support to a charity started by Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin after he went into cardiac arrest on the field early this year. The football player's heartbeat was restored on the scene and due to the nation's generous response to his community toy drive, Chasing M's Foundation, which has currently garnered more than $9 million, his family suggested that efforts be directed toward local first responders.

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