Source: Sherman Publications

Michigan one of 15 states to get more Medicaid funds

April 20, 2011

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced four initiatives to give states more flexibility to adopt innovative practices and provide better, more coordinated care for people with Medicaid and Medicare while helping reduce costs for states and families. Several of the announcements also help implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

· Fifteen states, including Michigan, will receive federal funding to develop better ways to coordinate care for people with Medicare and Medicaid coverage, also known as dual eligibles, who often have complex and costly health care needs.

· All states will receive increased flexibility to provide home and community-based services for more people living with disabilities.

· All states are eligible to receive more money to develop simpler and more efficient information technology (IT) systems to modernize Medicaid enrollment.

“Medicaid programs provide health coverage for millions of low-income Americans who otherwise would lack access to health care,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “With these new resources and flexibilities, states will have new options to make their Medicaid programs work better for the people they serve, while helping lower their costs.”

Coordinated Care for People with Medicare and Medicaid

Under a new initiative funded by the Affordable Care Act, 15 states will receive up to $1 million each to develop new ways to meet the often complex and costly medical needs of the approximately nine million Americans who are eligible for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, known as “dual eligibles.”

The goal of the program is to eliminate duplication of services for these patients, expand access to needed care and improve the lives of dual eligibles, while lowering costs.

The new Federal Coordinated Health Care Office, or the Duals Office, at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), was created by the Affordable Care Act to improve care for dual eligibles and will work with the states to implement the top strategies to coordinate primary, acute, behavioral and long-term supports and services for dual eligibles, improving quality and lowering costs.

The 15 states that will receive these funds are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota , New York , North Carolina , Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina , Tennessee, Vermont , Washington and Wisconsin .

“Beneficiaries who are in both Medicare and Medicaid can face different benefit plans, different rules for how to get those benefits and potential conflicts in care plans among providers who do not coordinate with each other,” said Donald M. Berwick, M.D., administrator of CMS. “This can be disastrous for those beneficiaries who are most vulnerable and in need of help.”