Medicare could save $125 billion

Medicare and Medicaid could save the money through coordinating care, a study says. Some 9 million elderly are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Gene J. Puskar/AP/File
Healthcare workers and retirees protest proposed cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security outside the Aliquippa, Pa., office of USRep. Jason Altmire (D) of Pennsylvania this past July. A new study finds that the US could save $125 billion by coordinating care for patients eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

A new study delivered to lawmakers on the congressional debt panel says the government could save more than $125 billion on medical care for the most frail Medicare and Medicaid patients.

About 9 million seniors and disabled people are eligible for both programs. Coordinating the care they receive could avoid hospitalizations and stave off other medical complications, the study found. Savings were estimated for a ten-year period.

The study was prepared by Emory University professor Ken Thorpe, a former senior health policy adviser in the Bill Clinton administration.

It was sponsored by the health insurance industry trade group, whose members are telling the government their management skills can improve care for the most vulnerable patients while saving taxpayers' money. Previously, the Congressional Budget Office has been skeptical of similar claims.

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