Letter to CMS Concerning Dual Eligibles


April 25, 2012

Richard J. Gilfillan, M.D.

Acting Director

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

7500 Security Boulevard

Baltimore, MD 21244

Dear Dr. Gilfillan:

The National Minority Quality Forum, and the co-signing organizations listed below, are writing to join with other concerned citizens groups to express our apprehensions about the proposed changes to the manner in which benefits for some Medicare enrollees are financed and provided. Our specific reference is to the state-based demonstrations of financial models to integrate care for Medicare and Medicaid dually eligible enrollees. We are aware of, and share, the concerns that have been communicated to you by patient advocacy groups and other organizations, but our issue with these demonstration projects is more fundamental.

According to CMS data, there are approximately 9 million dual eligibles. They encompass some of the poorest, the sickest and the costliest segments of the Medicare population. Moreover, dual eligibles face many other challenges in accessing care. They are more likely to be minorities, have disabilities, suffer from mental conditions, have educational disadvantage, or live in rural areas where care providers are more scarce.  Read more