Vermont to Begin New Dual Eligible Effort

Vermont will join six other states to receive support from the Center for Health Care Strategies and the Commonwealth Fund  to develop strategies to integrate care for patients who's health care is paid for by both Medicare and the state-run Medicaid program, or dual eligibles, according to a statement released Tuesday by Vermont Governor Jim Douglas's office.

The Center for Health Care Strategies, using a grant provided by the Commonwealth Fund, will guide the state through the implementation of a "Special Needs Plan" embedded in the state government, allowing the state to work directly with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to coordinate care for dual eligibles. Dual eligibles represent less than a fifth of Medicare patients, but consume nearly half the spending of the program because the patients often have complex diseases and social situations, according to the statement (Press release, 5/26).

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