The population served by MLTSS health plans experiences stark disparities by race and ethnicity, making it critical to ensure that this population is viewed with an equity lens. In her keynote remarks during the MLTSS Association’s inaugural MLTSS Leadership Summit on October 4th, 2022, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure emphasized the importance of this, observing “it is a huge priority for the administration to think about long-term care…some people don't understand how much we see disparities in the long-term care population, especially when you break it up by race/ethnicity.” She went on to note, “we need to think about how to deliver that care better, as we consider what innovation models to pursue, places to invest in, and evaluate what is happening to beneficiaries across our programs."
A crucial part of better care delivery is ensuring that beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid are enrolled in integrated models. She noted that only 18% of full benefit dually eligible beneficiaries were enrolled in integrated care models in 2021 – “there is a need to get MLTSS enrollees – and dually eligible enrollees more generally – into integrated care delivery programs.” Advancing Integrated Care has been a priority for the MLTSS Association since its inception and we look forward to working with the Administration, Congress and States to improve care for dually eligible beneficiaries.
To conclude her remarks, Administrator Brooks-LaSure issued four calls to action for MLTSS health plans, including working with the administration to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates, working with states to ensure accurate beneficiary information is shared for redeterminations, improving transitions of care, and forming innovative partnerships to advance equity. The MLTSS Association has long prioritized working with the administration and state partners to ensure high quality care for all members, and we look forward to continuing this work in 2023.