The SHIFT-Care Challenge

The HPC seeks compelling new ideas from Massachusetts health care providers for reducing avoidable emergency department visits and hospital readmissions, including through models that increase patient access to timely behavioral health services


On January 9, 2018, the Health Policy Commission (HPC) announced the next round of funding through its Health Care Innovation Investment (HCII) Program: The SHIFT-Care Challenge. This $10 million grant opportunity is designed to foster innovative care delivery models in Massachusetts that shift the unnecessary delivery of care for complex patients from expensive, acute care hospitals, to more patient-centered, community-based settings. The SHIFT-Care Challenge aims to strengthen partnerships between community-based organizations, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), hospitals and health systems, and support the delivery of coordinated care that meets the whole-person needs of patients, including their behavioral health care and health-related social needs. This investment represents a unique opportunity for Massachusetts health care providers to test leading-edge ideas for transforming care and to advance the HPC’s goal of better care, better health – at a lower cost – across the Commonwealth.

What is the SHIFT-Care Challenge? The SHIFT-Care Challenge is a new $10 million competitive funding opportunity to promote sustainable, transformative care models that reduce avoidable acute care utilization (e.g. emergency department visits, hospital readmissions) by addressing health-related social needs and increasing access to timely behavioral health services.

The SHIFT-Care Challenge offers two funding tracks for competitive applications for innovative care delivery models that:

  • Address the health-related social needs of complex patients.
  • Provide timely access to behavioral health services.
    • Included within this track is an opportunity to focus specifically on addressing the opioid epidemic by implementing progressive models of care that seek to initiate evidence-based treatment in the emergency department (ED) for patients who present with an opioid use disorder.

How much funding is available? Applicants may apply for up to $750,000 in awards and must provide an in-kind financial contribution of at least 25% toward the total cost of the proposed initiative. This design promotes sustainability of the initiatives following the completion of the SHIFT-Care Challenge.

Who can apply? Massachusetts providers and provider organizations, including HPC-Certified ACOs, ACO Participants, and CHART eligible hospitals, are eligible to apply for funding. More information can be found in the SHIFT-Care Request for Proposals (RFP)The deadline for eligible proposals is April 6, 2018.

For more information: The HPC hosted a webinar on Thursday, January 11, 2018. HPC staff reviewed the RFP in detail and touched on important elements of the application process. Click here to access the webinar recording. With any questions, please contact program staff at

What does SHIFT-Care stand for? The SHIFT-Care Challenge is a competitive funding opportunity to catalyze Sustainable Healthcare Innovations Fostering Transformation and accelerate the paradigm shift of care delivery in Massachusetts from healthcare to health.


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