The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the
introduction of two new tools, aimed at improving care and reducing
costs by aligning Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The initiatives will focus on dual eligibles, those eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. This group is often considered the most vulnerable and costly population, consisting of only 15 percent of Medicaid enrollees, but accounting for 39 percent of Medicaid spending. Currently, the two programs run separately, requiring enrollees to navigate two separate systems providing different benefits.
HHS hopes to better integrate benefits under the two programs through The Alignment Initiative, which will be led by the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office. As a first step in the Alignment Initiative, the Opportunities for Alignment List was released and is now open for public comment. The list details a range of areas in which the Medicare and Medicaid programs have conflicting requirements or create incentives that are counterproductive.
HHS also announced a new way to provide faster state access to Medicare data. The program, spearheaded by the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, aims to give states more information about Medicare, so they can create Medicaid Programs that generate both higher quality care for enrollees and cost savings for the state.
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