Between August and September, nearly 400 people dropped out of the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage program, which aims to better coordinate care for dual-eligible beneficiaries. Enrollment fell from about 7,600 to 7,280 as of Sept. 1. More than 124,000 people are eligible for the program. Patients, often low-income and elderly, have trouble navigating the separate Medicare and Medicaid programs, their multiple doctors and other providers. That drives up the cost of their care and leads to poorer outcomes.
In New York alone, dually eligible patients collectively cost $36 billion across the two programs, according to a 2012 United Hospital Fund report.
Neither state officials nor stakeholders could say why enrollees were dropping out. “Enrollees are happy that they are able to access services more easily than before,” said Krystal Scott, New York state policy director at the Medicare Rights Center. “They also enjoy the fact that they have a team of providers helping them reach their healthcare goals, access care and live at home in their community.” —Virgil Dickson