The United States spent an estimated $635 billion on the chronically ill and disabled in 2010; about half of this was spent on those dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Recently, there has been a series of innovative chronic care management programs that have shown considerable promise in reducing hospital admissions, readmissions, specialty care and prescription drug use. Considerable savings could be achieved if these programs could be expanded broadly. In this paper, we argue that this should primarily be a Medicare initiative because most of the current expenditures and savings from these programs would accrue to Medicare. We estimate potential savings of close to 1% of national health expenditures.
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