Ohio Plan Aims to Better Link Medicare, Medicaid

Jan 11, 2012

State officials want to change the way health care is delivered to the 190,000 Ohioans served by both Medicaid and Medicare, so the beneficiaries must only deal with a single entity to receive services.

The federal Medicare program serves the elderly and disabled, while Medicaid provides coverage for the poor though state and federal funding. The two operate fairly independently from each other.

Officials say long-term care, behavioral and physical health services provided to people on both programs are poorly coordinated. As result, patients have worse health outcomes and are more costly.

The governor's office of health care transformation is proposing the system be changed so that beneficiaries have one point of contact to access their services. Its draft proposal was released Tuesday. Federal officials must approve a final plan.