If Calif. Ends Coordinated Care Initiative, What Happens to Frail Senior Duals?
by David Gorn, California Healthline Sacramento Bureau
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Zelda Gamble of Long Beach, 74, has diabetes, high blood pressure and severe rheumatoid arthritis that keeps her confined to a motorized wheelchair all day.
Gamble is one of roughly 12,000 frail seniors across California who depend on the Multipurpose Senior Services Program, or MSSP, for services and care that help them stay home and out of institutions, such as hospitals or nursing homes.
“If it were not for that program, I would not be able to live in my own home,” Gamble said. “I’d be in a nursing home.” She said she’s happy and productive at home. Life just wouldn’t be the same for her in an institutional setting, she said.
“If they put me in a nursing home, I think I’m just not going to live very long,” Gamble said. “And I like living. I don’t want to die.”
MSSP is a federal waiver program, with 38 sites in California serving up to 11,789 people a month.
The majority of seniors in MSSP reside in one of the seven counties participating in the state’s duals demonstration project, or Cal MediConnect, which is part of the state’s larger Coordinated Care Initiative. Roughly two-thirds of all duals (those dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal) live in the seven-county demonstration area. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.