Noteworthy News

Dual Demos Rolling Out Slower Than Expected

A new federal program that will enable states to shift as many as two million low-income, chronically ill, dually eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) seniors into managed care plans is taking longer to launch than federal officials anticipated.

Twenty-five states have applied to participate in the program, and while 14 requested permission to launch their demonstrations in 2013, only one state – Massachusetts – has received federal approval for its plans so far.  The other 11 states anticipate launching their programs in 2014.

While the program has many supporters in the health care community, it also has its share of critics.  The Medicare patients who would participate in the program are among the most challenging and costly for providers to serve.

Because they serve so many dual eligible patients, urban safety-net hospitals have a special interest in these new demonstration programs.

Learn more about this new program for dual eligibles, its potential, and its possible shortcomings in this CQ HealthBeat articleHealth Care Reform/Flag presented by the Commonwealth Fund.

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