New Efforts To Improve Medicaid in California, Colorado

Advocates caution that California's ambitious program for dual eligibles could be problematic, while Colorado's effort to move Medicaid patients into medical homes is showing savings.

California Healthline: Promise, Peril Of Duals Program
Advocates see potential for improvement but also are concerned about consumer protections in the transition of roughly 1.1 million Californians into Medi-Cal managed care. The state is launching a managed care pilot project for beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (Gorn, 9/12).

CQ HealthBeat: California Official Expects Hospitals To Be Paid Medicare Rates In Duals Demonstration
The next high-profile demonstration project agreement affecting people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid will probably be completed in California within a month. A top state official said Wednesday that Medicare providers who care for dual-eligibles should assume that they will receive rates as high as those they now get under the health program for seniors and the disabled (Adams, 9/12).

The Denver Post: Key Medicaid Reform Effort In Colorado Shows Promising Savings
Colorado's key Medicaid-reform effort — matching thousands of state-supported patients to "medical homes" and careful case management — is showing promising savings, health officials will report to the legislature this fall. More than 128,000 Medicaid clients are enrolled in seven case management regions, and preliminary data for the first six months of billing shows a 14 percent drop for inpatient hospital stays among children, state officials said (Booth, 9/12).

The Lund Report: Governor Kitzhaber Seeks To Expand Coordinated Care Organizations
With coordinated care organizations – better known as CCOs -- in full swing for the Medicaid population, Governor John Kitzhaber is setting his sights on the next targets – people on Medicare, the state's public employees and the private business sector. "The biggest challenge with Medicare is that it's not a sustainable model," the governor told Beaverton residents last week at a town hall meeting hosted by Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton). Why not allow people on Medicare to participate in a CCO on an "experimental basis," he suggested (Lund-Muzikant, 9/12).

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