Articles include: research issues: dually eligible Medicare & Medicaid beneficiaries, challenges & opportunities; evolution of Medicaid coverage of Medicare cost sharing; effect of low-income elderly insurance co-payment subsidies; does health status explain higher Medicare costs of Medicaid enrollees? inpatient psychiatric care of Medicare beneficiaries with state buy-in coverage; risk adjustment for dually eligible beneficiaries using long-term care; linked data analysis of dually eligible beneficiaries in New England; evaluating alternative risk adjusters for Medicare; & MCBS Highlights: dually eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
Disabled Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries: Integration of Medicare and Medicaid Benefits May Not Lead to Expected Medicare Savings
Medicare and medicaid : implementing state demonstrations for dual eligibles has proven challenging : report to the Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate
Providing affordable, high-quality care for the 10 million persons who are dual-eligible beneficiaries of Medicare and Medicaid is an ongoing health-care policy challenge in the United States. However, the workforce and the care provided to dual-eligible beneficiaries are understudied. The purpose of this article is to provide a narrative of the challenges and lessons learned from an exploratory study in the use of clinical and administrative data to compare the workforce of two care models that deliver home- and community-based services to dual-eligible beneficiaries. The research challenges that the study team encountered were as follows: (a) comparing different care models, (b) standardizing data across care models, and (c) comparing patterns of health-care utilization. The methods used to meet these challenges included expert opinion to classify data and summative content analysis to compare and count data. Using descriptive statistics, a summary comparison of the two care models suggested that the coordinated care model workforce provided significantly greater hours of care per recipient than the integrated care model workforce. This likely represented the coordinated care model's focus on providing in-home services for one recipient, whereas the integrated care model focused on providing services in a day center with group activities. The lesson learned from this exploratory study is the need for standardized quality measures across home- and community-based services agencies to determine the workforce that best meets the needs of dual-eligible beneficiaries.
The balance between state and federal health care financing for low-income people has been a matter of considerable debate for the last 40 years. Some argue for a greater federal role, others for more devolution of responsibility to the states. Medicaid, the backbone of the system, has been plagued by an array of problems that have made it unpopular and difficult to use to extend health care coverage. In recent years, waivers have given the states the flexibility to change many features of their Medicaid programs; moreover, the states have considerable flexibility to in establishing State Children's Health Insurance Programs. This book examines the record on the changing health safety net. How well have states done in providing acute and long-term care services to low-income populations? How have they responded to financial incentives and federal regulatory requirements? How innovative have they been? Contributing authors include Donald J. Boyd, Randall R. Bovbjerg, Teresa A. Coughlin, Ian Hill, Michael Housman, Robert E. Hurley, Marilyn Moon, Mary Beth Pohl, Jane Tilly, and Stephen Zuckerman.
For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. Unfortunately, the experience of dying in the United States is often characterized by fragmented care, inadequate treatment of distressing symptoms, frequent transitions among care settings, and enormous care responsibilities for families. According to this report, the current health care system of rendering more intensive services than are necessary and desired by patients, and the lack of coordination among programs increases risks to patients and creates avoidable burdens on them and their families. Dying in America is a study of the current state of health care for persons of all ages who are nearing the end of life. Death is not a strictly medical event. Ideally, health care for those nearing the end of life harmonizes with social, psychological, and spiritual support. All people with advanced illnesses who may be approaching the end of life are entitled to access to high-quality, compassionate, evidence-based care, consistent with their wishes. Dying in America evaluates strategies to integrate care into a person- and family-centered, team-based framework, and makes recommendations to create a system that coordinates care and supports and respects the choices of patients and their families. The findings and recommendations of this report will address the needs of patients and their families and assist policy makers, clinicians and their educational and credentialing bodies, leaders of health care delivery and financing organizations, researchers, public and private funders, religious and community leaders, advocates of better care, journalists, and the public to provide the best care possible for people nearing the end of life.