California Healthline: Dual Eligibles Transition Sparks Worries

by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau

California could set a national precedent with implementation of its Cal MediConnect duals demonstration project, which is scheduled to begin implementation April 1. Eventually the program will shift one million frail and elderly Californians into managed care plans.

The pilot project combines the disparate services and financing of Medicare and Medicaid (in California known as Medi-Cal) for people who are eligible for both programs. Beneficiaries — known as dual eligibles — would theoretically get better care and more services in an integrated approach, and the state would save money by combining the finances from the two entitlements.

California’s duals project, one of 15 state pilots approved by CMS to help design new approaches for coordinating care, is by far the largest in the country.

The pilot project has gone through extensive stakeholder meetings and government hearings and its launch date has been delayed several times in an effort to ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible for such a fragile population.

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
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