The Medicaid Commission will recommend that states authorize new programs to place dual-eligible beneficiaries -- those who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare -- into managed care. Modeled after Medicare Advantage but overseen by the states, the programs would integrate Medicare and Medicaid benefits, with the federal government contributing risk-adjusted capitated Medicare payments and the states and federal government continuing to share Medicaid costs. The change would make spending on dual-eligibles more predictable for budgeting purposes, the commission said. Voting members of the commission approved the recommendations 13-1 at a meeting Nov. 17; one commissioner abstained. The HHS-appointed commission is due to submit a final report to Congress on its recommendations by Dec. 31.
William Vaughan, a senior policy analyst at Consumers Union who attended the meeting, said using Medicaid as a vehicle to bring patients into private insurance isnt an effective use of healthcare dollars and the new Democrat-led Congress is unlikely to pick up the recommendations. The report is dead on arrival, or it should be, Vaughan said. -- by Jennifer Lubell