« The Dual Agenda: April 15, 2015 Issue

Noteworthy News

Brief Investigates Feasibility of Including Dual Eligibles in Medicaid ACO Programs

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has written a brief about the feasibility of including dually eligible individuals in Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The study looks at eight states – Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington – that are taking part in the Medicaid ACO Learning Collaborative. The brief describes the challenges of incorporating dual eligibles in Medicaid ACO programs, reviews state considerations of these barriers, and presents emerging thinking on the potential of using this model for achieving better care for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees at lower costs. The brief concludes that Medicaid ACOs are likely to be effective only when operated across both Medicaid and Medicare, and that multi-payer ACOs are most likely to improve care and generate return on investment. In addition to this longer study, CHCS has also developed a useful fact sheet about Medicaid ACOs.

PCORI Blog Focuses on Community Health Workers

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has posted a blog about the value of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in reducing health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. CHWs serve as a link between patients and healthcare systems and are being increasingly used in many settings to address disparities. PCORI is funding a variety of research projects focused on the use of CHWs in providing care to racial and ethnic minorities.

Brief Looks at Transportation Models That Work

As the dual eligible demonstrations go live across the country, transportation has emerged as a critical issue in many states. This brief by Health Outreach Partners (HOP), which launched a three-year project in 2011 aimed at overcoming transportation barriers to health care access, presents findings, recommendations and policy strategies based on six case study communities identified and investigated by HOP. This brief may provide helpful lessons and recommendations to advocates working to improve the transportation programs in the dual eligible demonstrations in their states.

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