Washington, DC – Today the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) and its affiliate, the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, expressed their appreciation to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for approving Massachusetts as the first state to partner with CMS in their financial alignment initiative to integrate care for dual eligibles – individuals who are eligible for both the Medicare and Medicaid. Under the Massachusetts program, the state and CMS will contract with the Integrated Care Organizations and expand upon the state’s popular Senior Care Options (SCO), which has a positive track record of quality services and program integration.
“We support the goal of eliminating barriers to coordinating care for our nation’s 9 million Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. This demonstration will begin to address very complex issues. We hope that CMS’ Medicare Medicaid Coordination Office will look to the SCO program and use the successful aspects of this program to shape other state proposals,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL.
“We value the SCO model as it is established and provides high quality, seamless, cost effective, integrated and person-centered care to the state’s citizens who are 65 and older,” commented Scott Plumb, Senior Vice President, Massachusetts Senior Care Association. “We will also monitor the program to see that it provides the operational and financial stability to participating long term and post-acute care facilities,” Plumb concluded.
In expressing their approval of the award, both Parkinson and Plumb noted that one requirement of the grant is troublesome. That is its “passive enrollment” feature that automatically enrolls eligible individual. Currently the SCO is a voluntary program which is deemed preferable by prospective enrollees.