That consternation, it turns out, was from unnecessary friction. Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC), a concept sanctioned by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is an effort to improve health care delivery to Virginians who are eligible for both Medicare (entitled to benefits under Medicare Part A and enrolled under Medicare Parts B and D) and full Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid were not designed to work together and do not function seamlessly. This and the socio-economic characteristics of the client base create gaps and overlaps in services inviting waste and fraud.
The goal of this initiative is to provide Virginians with high quality, person-centered health care that focuses on their needs and preferences.
Virginia's Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) designed a demonstration that operationalizes a more effective, cost saving concept by establishing overarching Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMPs). This should be an effort hailed across the political spectrum and embraced by health care providers, beneficiaries, and all citizens of the Commonwealth. But other than potential enrollees, most of us haven't even heard about this effort to improve health care for some 76,000 eligible Virginians living in designated regions.
"It's not just that they can't afford any sort of insurance that might be available to them under the Affordable Care Act. It's that this is a horribly underserved region in terms of medical resources." - Henry Schuster, 60 Minutes producer (at 3:17)
Organizers of an expeditionary Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic just outside of Jonesville, Virginia expect something on the order of 600 patients today and tomorrow. This is the first of this kind of event in Lee County, set up in and around the airport that sits further west than Columbus, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan, far removed from Richmond. Sadly, this constitutes primary care for many residents. When I arrived yesterday as a volunteer, 22 hours before the first patient would be seen, there were already three carloads of people lined up to ensure they could get one of the specialty services. They know the routine.
Somehow Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City) avoids discerning scrutiny from his constituency. Even with all that tobacco money he is bringing home, many of those living in Virginia's poorest county rely upon the generosity of others for any health care at all. The county's only hospital closed about a year ago.
On September 30, 2013, the Lee Regional Medical Center closed its doors after serving the community for 70 years. With the loss of jobs and decreased access to medical care, the residents of Lee County have been deeply impacted by the hospital's closure. - Lee County Hospital Authority