by Lynn Shapiro Snyder and Amy F. Lerman

On April 14, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced several initiatives that will offer states more flexibility to adopt innovative new practices in order to provide better and more coordinated care for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees who are dually eligible under both of these programs. Under one of these initiatives, 15 states have been awarded $1 million contracts to support the design of state demonstration projects that will aim to improve the coordination of care for dual eligibles. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), through its newly formed Federal Coordinated Health Care Office, will evaluate the projects proposed by the 15 states. CMS hopes to implement the top strategies as soon as 2012. Providers and payors in selected states who currently treat a significant number of dual eligibles may want to contact their agency representatives to help influence the way in which their state intends to pursue this demonstration project initiative.

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