Kaiser brief on care coordination for “dual eligibles”: A policy brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation summarizes 15 states' proposals to better coordinate care for people who are in both the Medicare and Medicaid programs—5.5 million low-income seniors and 3.4 million people with disabilities under age 65. In April 2011, design contracts of up to $1 million each were awarded to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. The contracts, which are funded by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, are an outgrowth of provisions in the health reform law to develop service delivery and payment models that integrate care for “dual eligibles,” whose needs and costs typically exceed those of other Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. States' ten-page proposals present the initial concepts in advance of meaningful stakeholder dialogue. The Kaiser brief provides an overview of the important features of each state's proposal, including the type of entity to deliver benefits, the target population and enrollment, benefits package, financing, beneficiary protections, stakeholder involvement, and proposed time frame. Over the next 12 months, states will further develop their proposed designs, and CMS will determine which proposals will move into the implementation phase in 2012, pending availability of funds. The 47-page brief is available on the Kaiser web site at www.kff.org/medicaid/8215.cfm. Also available is a related archived Webcast, “Managing Costs and Improving Care: Team-Based Care of the Chronically Ill” (available as a video or podcast at www.kff.org/ahr081111video.cfm). The panel discussion, held in August 2011 and cosponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and the Commonwealth Fund, focused on ways to improve the quality of care for people with chronic illnesses while reducing the growth in spending for their care. Treating persons with multiple chronic conditions, including the elderly and disabled populations, accounted for 30% of total U.S. health care spending in 2010, half of which was spent on dual eligibles. Among solutions addressed are pilot programs and other innovations in the health reform law.