Noteworthy News

Dual Eligible Programs Show Mixed Results

The Affordable Care Act-inspired effort to find more effective ways to serve the so-called dual eligible population – mostly the disabled and low-income elderly covered by both Medicare and Medicaid – is not providing the kind of results policy-makers expected when they initiated new efforts to serve this high-cost population.

But not all of the news is bad.

iStock_000008112453XSmallOn one hand, enrollment figures for those eligible to participate have not met expectations, with some of those eligible afraid they might lose their providers and some of those providers persuading their patients not to participate. In addition, some health plans that participated in the earliest efforts have withdrawn in the face of declining enrollment.

On the other hand, employing care managers to serve members has shown signs of reducing hospitalizations and Medicare costs and individuals who do participate have expressed satisfaction with the service they are receiving.

Programs that serve dually eligible individuals are of special interest to urban safety-net hospitals because the communities they serve typically have especially large numbers of such residents.

For a closer look at the effort’s expectations, where it has succeeded, and where it has encountered challenges, see this Wall Street Journal article.

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