Helpful Information

Benefits of Urgent Care Centers

We have partnered with CareWell, an urgent care center (UCC). You can go to CareWell and most UCCs for non-life-threatening injuries instead of going to the emergency room (ER). CareWell is an alternative to a primary care visit, especially if you need care after your primary care provider's office hours.

The benefits of a UCC are:

  • Shorter wait time
  • Less expensive than an ER visit (it typically costs the same as a primary care visit)
  • No appointments needed

Before going to a UCC, you should contact your primary care provider to find out your best option. To find UCCs in our provider network, use our Find a Doctor, Hospital or Pharmacy tool.


Community Partners Program

Helping members feel their best

If you’re coping with complex health issues, you may be eligible for a new level of support in your community. MassHealth launched the Community Partners (CP) program on July 1, 2018. The program helps eligible members with significant disabilities and behavioral health needs (mental health and/or substance use).

Streamlined care

CPs work with eligible members to:

  • Coordinate services
  • Enhance continuity and quality of care
  • Address the social factors that affect members’ health
  • Improve health outcomes
  • Help members live independently
  • Access community supports

What to expect

MassHealth chooses members for the program and refers them to CPs. Members can also be referred by their PCPs or other community providers. If you are referred, a CP will contact you. You can then choose whether to enroll in the program.

CPs are in your community

CPs are health care and human service organizations. They are based in the community. Behavioral health CPs provide services to adults with complex behavioral health needs. Long-term services and supports CPs help members (ages 3 to 64 with disabilities) get community and home­-based services.

For more information, call MassHealth at 800.841.2900 (TTY: 800.497.4648), Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Follow Prescriber’s Instruction on Antidepressant Meds

Antidepressant medications are used to help treat depression and other mood disorders. For antidepressant medications to work properly, it is important to follow your prescriber’s instructions, to work with your prescriber to find the right medicine and dose that works for you and to take it until advised by your prescriber to stop. If you have been prescribed an antidepressant, follow these important guidelines to get better results:
 

  • Take antidepressant medication as prescribed (the amount, frequency and duration).
  • Try not to skip a dose. If you do miss a dose, take the next pill as scheduled; try not to “make-up” missed doses. Check with your prescriber or pharmacist to understand what to do if you regularly miss doses of your medication.
  • Do not stop taking antidepressants without checking with your provider first.
  • It may take up to four to six weeks for antidepressants to provide a noticeable difference.
  • You may get side effects from this medication. If you get side effects that cause you problems, don’t hesitate to talk with your prescriber who will work with you on an alternative plan.
  • You may get withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking antidepressant medications abruptly. You should talk to your prescriber about when and how to stop taking them when you feel ready.
  • Continue to take this medication even if you are feeling better, because stopping too soon may cause a relapse in your progress.
  • Contact your provider if you have any questions or concerns about your medication, including whether is working.
  • Be sure to make and keep all follow-up appointments.
  • If you think your medication is not working, talk to your prescriber about changing the dose, switching medication or adding a medication that may be a better choice for you.

For more information about depression, see this reference:

For more information regarding resources for depression or questions about coverage, you can call us at 888.257.1985 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The Importance of Behavioral Health Screenings

Early and regular health screenings are necessary to stay healthy at any age, but they are especially important for children, who are growing rapidly and expected to achieve particular milestones with age.

Stay healthy. Get screened.

When problems are caught early, for the most part they are easier to address and can prevent problems from getting bigger. Health screenings are all part of routine preventive care. These include many types of screenings, such as developmental, vision, hearing, dental, behavioral health and others. These screenings can jumpstart early treatment if necessary. Providers have a schedule they follow and know when each type of screening should be done. 

What to expect during your office visit

Specifically for a behavioral health screening, you can expect that when you bring your child or adolescent for an office visit, you will be asked to fill out a survey about your child’s:

  • Sleep
  • Energy 
  • Appetite 
  • School performance 
  • Ability to make friends 
  • Mood 
  • Behavior 

Adolescents may be asked to complete a similar survey about themselves. This is all part of a routine behavioral health screening. 

Providers will use a survey that is appropriate for your child’s age. The survey will come from a list of MassHealth-approved, standardized behavioral health screening tools. These tools can be helpful in highlighting areas you may be concerned about. They can make it easier to talk to your provider about your concerns and what you can do. 

Providers may discuss developmental expectations, give reassurance and even give common, effective parenting techniques that may help address your concerns.  

During time with your adolescent, your provider may discuss:

  • Avoiding the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco and other substances that can lead to abuse
  • Violence
  • Bullying 
  • Depression 

If there is a need for further assessment in the area of behavioral health, your provider can offer the necessary behavioral health services or help refer you to another behavioral health specialist in your network.

Regular screenings, including a behavioral health screening, are important at any age but especially in growing children and teens learning coping strategies for new developmental challenges. If your provider does not offer a behavioral health screening, don’t hesitate to ask about it. Share any concerns you have about your child’s development, including problems with mood and behavior. 

Your provider is eager to help and find ways to keep your child on track and healthy for life.


When to Change from a Pediatrician to an Adult PCP

If you recently turned 19, you may need or want to transition your care from a pediatrician to a primary care provider (PCP) for adults (such as a general practitioner). You may need to choose a PCP for adults for the following reasons:

  • You have reached the age of 19
  • You are pregnant and want to have an adult PCP or obstetric gynecologist provide your care
  • Your pediatrician suggests you transition to a PCP for adults

We're here to help you make that transition. To change your pediatrician to an adult PCP, use our online Find a Doctor, Hospital or Pharmacy tool. Once you've selected a new PCP, you can log in to Tufts Health Member Connect to make the change in our system. Or you can call member services at 888.257.1985 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., for help finding a new PCP and/or changing your PCP.