An experiment that aims to cut Wisconsin's Medicaid costs by coordinating medical and social services for some disabled people started July 1.
Independent Care, or I Care, a joint venture between HMO operator CareNetwork and the Milwaukee Center for Independence, a rehabilitation facility, will serve as many as 3,000 Medicaid recipients whose disabilities prevent them from holding steady jobs.
The state expects to cut its healthcare costs for participants by 5%, said I Care President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Modiz.
I Care will provide transportation, track follow-up care and educate providers on how to better serve disabled people. The goal is to eliminate disjointed care in which patients don't get proper treatment until it's an expensive emergency, Mr. Modiz said.
The state pays I Care, a private for-profit company, a capitated rate. However, the state will reap any savings in excess of 2% of the capitated rate or subsidize any losses of more than 2%, Mr. Modiz said.
I Care will cover only about 10% of the state's disabled Medicaid recipients, for which it annually spends $180 million. "It's a small program, but we can use statistics to demonstrate whether it's working or not," Mr. Modiz said.
HCFA awarded a $650,000, three-year research grant to pay for state liaisons and an independent project evaluator.
On July 9, Sinai Samaritan Medical Center in Milwaukee announced it will join the I Care provider network. That's good news, I Care executives said, because Sinai Samaritan offers an array of services and a location in central Milwaukee, close to many disabled Medicaid recipients.