CCA President and CEO Chris Palmieri; Senior Medical Director Jacob Kagan; Public Policy Director Leah Smith; Senior Government Relations Policy Analyst Maya Kiel; and Vice President of Policy Development Michelle Soper co-authored an article for Health Affairs outlining the challenges faced by individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid and stating the importance of integrating each program’s services.
Dually eligible individuals are more likely to experience chronic illness and behavioral health conditions, which can be compounded by the challenges of separately navigating Medicare and Medicaid.
“Further complicating an already fragmented system is that Medicare and Medicaid cover different behavioral health services. And physical and behavioral health care are often provided in different systems, which can reduce care access and worsen health outcomes and diminish care coordination for other services,” they write.
The article highlights CCA plans and services as examples of the promise of Medicare and Medicaid integration. CCA’s One Care and Senior Care Options plans pull the benefits of both programs into one plan and facilitate person-centered, holistic, high-quality care. CCA also utilized blended Medicare and Medicaid funding to create its Crisis Stabilization Unit, a step-down alternative to psychiatric hospitalization.
The article also goes on to outline potential policy steps toward integration, and education and training opportunities to enhance cooperation between medical and behavioral healthcare providers.