California Postpones Dual Eligible Coordinated Care Demonstration

The California Department of Health Care Services announced it is pushing back the start date of its coordinated care program for dual eligibles to no earlier than January 2014.

On March 27, DHCS and CMS signed a duals demonstration memorandum of understanding to implement a care coordination program for beneficiaries in eight California counties eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. The program, called Cal MediConnect, is a three-year demonstration to coordinate medical, social and mental health services for seniors and people with disabilities. The program is part of California's larger Coordinated Care Initiative.

California's original proposal for Cal MediConnect assumed enrollment for the program would begin in March 2013, according to a CalDuals report. The MOU changed the enrollment start date to no earlier than October 2013. This latest announcement pushes back the start data an additional three months.

"Cal MediConnect is an opportunity to support people who have both Medicare and Medicaid with more coordinated care. Doing so requires work on multiple levels between governments, health plans and communities. This kind of systematic change takes time, and therefore the new timeline provides the opportunity to give every issue the full consideration it deserves," the CalDuals report states.

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