Washington becomes second state CMS approves for dual eligible-targeted program

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has approved a second state to start a demonstration project aimed at improving care for dual eligibles.

HealthPathWashington, a voluntary program, will integrate services and establish “health homes” to bring Medicare and Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries better care, Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) said Thursday. The state is projected to save nearly $14 million over five years and will focus on 30,000 of its dual eligibles at the highest risk for poor outcomes.

CMS is pushing states to build financial models that improve care and reduce cost of dual eligibles. Washington is the first approved state to try a fee-for-service payment model.

The agency is reviewing 26 states' proposals. While the majority proposes a capitated model, a handful of states, such as Washington, are using a fee-for-service model, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.