Health care in the United States is often fragmented and uncoordinated, making unnecessary risks and avoidable costs an all too common part of the American health care experience. This is particularly true for people with complex health needs and Medicare beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicaid.  Advocates are now dealing with how to improve coordination and patient care while driving down costs.

Special Delivery: How Coordinated Care Programs Can Improve Quality and Save Costs tackles one of the tough issues facing our embattled delivery system.   As coordinated care initiatives become more common, consumer advocates should be equipped to separate fact from fiction and understand key concepts that define effective, consumer-friendly care coordination. These include:

  • Placing the individual and family at the center of care planning and delivery.
  • Coordinating care across a continuum of medical and non-medical services, from primary and acute to long-term and home- or community-based care.
  • Implementing appropriate clinical and organizational supports needed to effectively coordinate care.
  • Establishing appropriate payment incentives for coordinating care and for integrating Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
  • Incorporating the consumer voice in plan design and governance. 

How Can I Use This Report? Special Delivery defines “consumer-friendly care coordination,” makes the case for including it as a part of systemic reform, and outlines roles for advocates to pursue and implement care coordination nationally or in their states.

Read this report and others in the series here.