HHS Dual-Eligible Program Seeks To Lower States' Medicaid Costs

The centerpiece of the program, which HHS says could result in savings of billions of dollars a year, would give states access to data detailing how Medicaid populations use Medicare services.

The Hill: HHS Vows Better Coordination To Help States Keep Medicaid Costs Under Control
The Obama administration announced Wednesday it plans to share Medicare information about prescription drug use and hospital visits with states to keep Medicaid costs under control and stave off Republican attempts to overhaul the program. The 9.2 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid are responsible for about 40 percent of Medicaid spending — or $120 billion a year (Pecquet, 5/11).

CQ HealthBeat: HHS Says New Program for 'Duals' Will Help States Lower Medicaid Costs
It doesn't exactly have a snappy name: "the Alignment Initiative." But a new program to help states lower costs for the 9 million Americans enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid offers potential savings totaling billions of dollars a year, agency officials said in a press briefing Wednesday. A centerpiece of the effort is to give states access to data detailing how Medicaid populations use Medicare services. "With Medicare data, states can identify high-risk and high-cost individuals, determine their primary health risks and provide comprehensive individual client profiles to its care management contractor to tailor interventions," HHS said in a news release (Reichard, 5/11).

Modern Healthcare: White House Pushes Medicaid Data-Sharing
The Obama administration pushed back on a growing drive by Republican governors and members of Congress for increased Medicaid flexibility for states with an initiative that senior officials claimed Wednesday could both save money and improve care. The highlight of the initiative is an effort to speed the transfer of Medicare data for patients eligible for coverage under both that program and Medicaid to state Medicaid offices so they can better coordinate such patients' care (Daly, 5/11).

In other Medicaid news -

CQ HealthBeat: CBO: 300,000 Americans Would Be Uninsured Under GOP Medicaid Bill
The Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday that a bill that would allow governors to scale back their Medicaid rolls would save $2.8 billion between 2012 and 2016 and leave 300,000 Americans without health insurance in 2013. The legislation (HR 1683) is scheduled to be marked up in a House subcommittee Thursday and would lift so-called maintenance of effort requirements for states at a time when they are struggling to balance their budgets. The requirements would be ended for both Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) (Norman, 5/11).

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