California Healthline: Duals Demonstration Gets Green Light

by David Gorn

CMS and California health officials yesterday announced they agree on a framework for the launch of the duals demonstration project starting as soon as October.

About 456,000 Californians who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal coverage in the eight demonstration counties will be qualified to participate in the duals project.

State officials announced yesterday the project will be launched under the name Cal MediConnect.

“This is a wonderful next step toward integrating care in California,” said Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “We have been working on this for two years … We really want to use this to meet the triple aim of better care, better outcomes and lower cost.”

The agreement delays the planned launch of the project by a month. State officials had hoped to start in September. It also excludes the state’s request for a six-month lock-in period for enrollees, which state officials felt would stabilize the transition. In this agreement, enrollees will be free to opt out of the demonstration at any time.

The eight counties in the demonstration project are Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo and Santa Clara.

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