MassHealth is going full speed ahead with a demonstration proposal to integrate Medicare and Medicaid services for dually eligible individuals and the Home Care Alliance took the opportunity to comment to CMS, which was accepting testimony on the state’s project until March 19th.
The Alliance’s comments highlighted the extensive experience that home care agencies have in caring for dually eligible individuals and helping them to remain at home. According to MassHealth data, more than 13,600 dual eligibles received home care services in calendar year 2008. Given that nearly 80 percent of duals have a physical health diagnosis, the Alliance also noted that home care agencies have a vital role in assessment and clinical care management, not to mention being an integral part of the care team itself.
The goal of the project is to cut down on the cost of care by better care coordination and integration. The state’s proposal will do this, in theory, by naming five regional Integrated Care Organizations (ICO’s) that will receive both MassHealth and Medicare funding to then pay for services as appropriate and as determined by an assessment and care planning team.
The Alliance has joined other organizations like the Massachusetts Hospital Association, Massachusetts Medical Society and Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems in conveying that providers should be paid no less than Medicare rates for services they traditionally cover. That way, CMS and the state ensure that cost savings comes from better coordination and not from paying less than what providers are used to being paid.
See HCA’s full comments and visit MassHealth’s special webpage on the proposal for more information. There will also be an open public meeting on the project at 10:00am on April 9th in conference rooms 1,2, and 3 of the State Transportation Building (10 Park Plaza, Boston) for those interested in learning more.
Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.