Cantwell Applauds WA Grant to Improve Efficiency, Reduce Cost of Medicare & Medicaid

Improving care coordination for 150,000 ‘dual eligibles’ will cut costs and improve health outcomes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, Washington state was selected as one of 15 states to pioneer strategies to lower cost and improve efficiency for people receiving both Medicare and Medicaid. Washington will receive up to $1 million in grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve health care delivery and reduce cost for 150,000 ‘dual eligible’ participants.

“This announcement highlights Washington’s leadership in developing innovative health solutions that deliver better care and save taxpayers money,”Sen. Maria Cantwell said. “This investment in improving efficiency of care for people under both Medicare and Medicaid will lead to better coordinated care and reduced cost.”

Washington state has about 137,000 dual eligible residents, which comprise one of the most chronically ill and costly populations. Nationally, dual eligibles currently account for 16 percent of Medicare enrollees but 27 percent in Medicare spending, and 15 percent of Medicaid enrollment but upwards of 39 percent of the costs.

There are around nine million dual eligible beneficiaries nationwide – out of a total 100 million Medicare and Medicaid recipients – accounting for about $300 billion per year in spending across both programs.

Under the State Demonstrations to Integrate Care for Dual Eligible Individuals, selected states will design strategies for implementing person-centered models that fully coordinate primary, acute, behavioral, and long-term supports and services for dual eligible individuals. States will work with beneficiaries, their families and other stakeholders to develop their demonstration proposals. After federal review of the proposals, CMS will work with states to implement the most promising plans at the national level.

In addition to Washington, the states selected include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.cms.gov/dualeligible/.