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Advocates Worry States Are Moving Too Fast On Dual Eligibles -- Those Who Qualify For Medicare & Medicaid

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Some states likely will begin testing new ways to care for people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid early next year--a timeline that has some advocates urging officials to slow down.

Finding high-quality, cost-effective ways to care for the 9 million people known as "dual eligibles" is among the brass rings of health policy. The population includes some of the sickest and poorest Americans who must navigate a fragmented system that can impede their care. Managing their care is important because they account for a disproportionate share of health spending -- they account for approximately 20 percent of Medicare's beneficiaries, for instance, but 31 percent of its spending, and 15% of Medicaid beneficiaries, but nearly 40 percent of that program's spending, according to Melanie Bella, the director of the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office...

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