Trinity Health offers $2 million to improve care of dual-eligible patients

June 15, 2016

Seeking to improve care and to reduce readmission rates for patients dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health announced an Innovation Challenge grant program in May to identify, fund and implement innovation to improve care for this patient population, the system said in a news release.

Dual-eligible patients, nearly 11 million people in the nation, include poor seniors and younger patients with disabilities. Trinity Health — drawing on information from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation — said these patients have circumstances that distinguish them from typical Medicare beneficiaries. They have very low incomes: 55 percent of them have incomes below $10,000 annually, compared to 6 percent of other Medicare beneficiaries. Dual-eligible patients are more likely to have mental health needs and more likely to be living in nursing homes. Half of dual-eligible patients are in fair or poor health, which is more than twice the Medicare rate of patients determined to be at this health status.

Trinity Health wants to find innovative ways to address the substantial health needs of dual-eligible patients. The health care system says it will fund up to six winning innovations with grants up to $350,000 each. Grant awardees from outside of Trinity Health will be matched up with a Trinity Health facility or service, if such a relationship does not already exist.

Anna Marie Butrie, Trinity Health's vice president for innovation programs and services, said in a statement, "Dual-eligible patients have complicated and costly medical needs and we can really make a difference for them by offering more coordinated care and by enabling them to engage more fully with their own care."

Trinity Health would like to reduce the 30-day and 90-day readmission rates of dual-eligible patients. The system said during a recent three-month period, dual-eligible patients cared for by Trinity Health's accountable care organizations experienced readmission rates more than 
100 percent higher than patients who are not dual eligible.

Applicants who receive funding will pilot their solutions in a Trinity Health accountable care organization or in a bundled payment for care improvement program, the system said in a description of how the grants will work.

Award announcements will be on Oct. 15.


Copyright © 2016 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2016 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.