By Ken Yood
The California Department of Health Care Services recently announced that it will start its Dual Eligibles Coordinated Care Demonstration in June 2013 instead of January. The Dual Eligibles Coordinate Care Demonstration is expected to lead to the enrollment of up to 560,000 of California’s dual-eligible Medicare-Medicaid patients into managed care plans designed to lower health care costs while maintaining quality of care. Although dual-eligibles in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, and San Mateo counties were supposed to be enrolled beginning in January 2013 under the original timeline, DHCS has determined that more time is required, and that those four counties will join San Bernardino, Alameda, Santa Clara, and Riverside counties and begin enrolling beneficiaries in July 2013. California has the largest number of dual-eligibles in the nation, totaling over 1.2 million beneficiaries.