Program keeps dually eligible adults out nursing home

The consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers, which prefers to call itself PwC now, placed caring for people with dual eligibility among its list of the top 10 health care industry issues in 2013. The people who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare are considered to be the country’s sickest and poorest people, falling “through the cracks of two programs that were not designed to work together.”

PwC’s study “Top Health Industry Issues of 2013: Picking Up the Pace of Reform” says that $320 billion was spent on dually eligible people in 2011, accounting for 39 percent of total Medicaid and 31 percent of total Medicare spending.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hopes that health insurers will help to manage the costs, and social media might be one of the tools. “Some duals may be receptive to using digital communication for diabetes maintenance, weight management, disease management, and chronic care programs,” the study states. PwC finds that such people “are more likely than other consumers to use social media for health care purposes (63 percent compared with 40 percent).”

Interest in using social media

Have you and a doctor, nurse, or other caregiver ever communicated in the following ways about a health question you had?

Dual eligibility Other consumers
E-mail 42% 24%
Text messages 21% 7%
Neither of the above 52% 74%

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