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Programs for Dual Eligibles May Produce Only Modest Savings

The federal government’s planned demonstration projects seeking to find better, more economical ways to serve the dual eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) population may not be as productive as enthusiasts for such programs hope.

This is the conclusion reached in the new study “Best Bets for Reducing Medicare Costs for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries:  Assessing the Evidence,” just published by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The study examines past efforts to provide better coordination of care for the dual eligible population, and while it found examples of programs that reduced hospitalizations, the overall cost savings to Medicare generally were modest.  While not evaluating current and planned Medicare demonstration programs, the study’s authors suggest that significant savings from new approaches funded under the Affordable Care Act may be difficult to achieve.

The effectiveness of the planned dual eligibles demonstration programs will be of particular interest to the nation’s urban safety-net hospitals because of the especially large numbers of such patients they serve.

Learn more about this new study and download a copy here Health Care Reform/Flagon the web site of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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