The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging will conduct a hearing entitled Examining Medicare and Medicaid Coordination for Dual-Eligibles” on Wednesday, July 18, at 2 p.m. Ranking Member Bob Corker will chair the hearing to get an update on methods of caring for the nine million seniors who benefit from both Medicare and Medicaid at an annual cost of $300 billion across the two programs.
The dual-eligible population suffers significant physical and financial hardships, making treatment complicated and costly, particularly with the competing payment incentives within Medicare and Medicaid, said Sen. Corker. While various models exist to streamline and improve care for these patients, only a small percentage of seniors currently participate. In January of this year, the Congressional Budget Office published a study which found that past care coordination demonstrations have not achieved significant savings.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, dual-eligibles represent 20 percent of Medicare enrollment but 32 percent of total Medicare spending. In Medicaid, they make up just 15 percent of enrollment but 35 percent of program costs. Given this outsized impact of dual-eligibles on federal and state health care spending, the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office has launched care integration demonstration projects with a goal of achieving more person-centered care at a lower cost. Twenty-six states, including Tennessee, have applied under this demonstration program. Currently, about 120,000 dual-eligibles are in integrated-care programs, and this demonstration could expand that number to as many as three million.
With a diverse panel of witnesses representing both Medicare and Medicaid, the hearing will provide an opportunity for members of the committee to ask important questions about existing coordinated care programs for dual-eligibles and implementation of the CMS demonstration, for which there has been little congressional oversight since the project was announced in July 2011.
For additional information and a live video feed of the hearing, visit: http://aging.senate.gov/minority/public/.