CHA and its Mission

Cambridge Health Alliance and Its Mission

Since 1964, the Cambridge Hospital (now Cambridge Health Alliance or CHA) has provided a model of innovative, community-oriented healthcare in which trainees from all psychiatric disciplines have developed their skills. CHA’s mission is to improve the health of the Massachusetts communities it serves. As a safety-net healthcare system, CHA has been on the cutting edge of healthcare reform, and has received national recognition for its innovative work, including:

  • The Victims of Violence Program at CHA received the Gold Award from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for innovative hospital and community service (1988)
  • CHA was honored with the Foster G. McGraw Prize for service to the community (1993)
  • CHA received three Safety Net awards for Open Access Patient Scheduling, Domestic Violence Programming, and Cultural and Linguistic Competency (2001)
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation selected CHA as one of seven healthcare systems for a “Pursuing Perfection” grant to transform healthcare delivery (2001)
  • CHA was again honored with the APA’s Gold Award, this time for its innovative work in providing a restraint-free environment on its child inpatient psychiatric unit (2003)
  • The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems presented the Chair Award to CHA for its integrated medical student clerkship program (2007)
  • CHA was selected as a national best practice site for team development by the Commonwealth Fund Safety Net Medical Home transformation initiative (2009)

In 2006, after Massachusetts passed health care reform legislation, CHA formed an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and has been working to transition away from a fee-for-service payment model towards a global payment model in order to provide comprehensive and high quality care to our community of patients. To this end, CHA quickly began transforming its primary care centers into patient-centered medical homes. As of December 2016, all 12 CHA primary care practices have been designated as Level III Patient-Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and have received the MA Health Policy Commission's Patient Centered Medical Home PRIME Certification for behavioral health integration.

Additionally, in 2014, CHA developed an affiliation with the Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization (BIDCO).

In 2017, CHA was selected by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) to create a Massachusetts Medicaid, MassHealth, ACO Partnership called Tufts Health Together with CHA. CHA’s MassHealth ACO launched in 2018, and has opened many doors for new value-based approaches to helping children and families including innovative pediatric integrated care models.

In 2022, CHA was selected as a Community Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) - through a program sponsored by Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Becoming a CBHC will allow CHA to expand access to routine, urgent, and crisis treatment for mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

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