Although Medicare is a federal program, health care is in fact delivered locally, and each state Medicaid agency is well-situated to identify and advance opportunities to improve care delivery not only for dually eligible individuals or Medicaid beneficiaries, but also more broadly for the growing Medicare population within their own state.

The California Department of Health Care Services’ Office of Medicare Innovation and Integration (OMII), which sits within the state’s Medicaid agency and was established in 2021 as part of California’s Master Plan for Aging, is a cutting-edge effort that expands the state’s health and human service focus beyond Medicaid to improve health outcomes, quality, affordability, and equity for all Medicare beneficiaries in California, including dually eligible beneficiaries.

This Health Affairs blog post, coauthored by CHCS’ Carrie Graham and Lida Momeni, describes OMII’s strategies to improve care for California’s 6.5 million Medicare beneficiaries, including the more than 22 percent who are dually eligible for Medicaid. It offers lessons to inform other state Medicaid agencies seeking to improve services for their Medicare populations.

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