Congressman Smith Co-Sponsors Legislation on Dual Eligibles

Congressman Adam Smith (D-9) sent out his occasional newsletter on health care today, with the headline story on a bill he co-sponsored last week on ‘dual eligibles.’  The ‘dual eligible’ population is among the most costly patient cohorts out there.  The are eligible for both Medicare (meaning they are typically over 65) and Medicaid (meaning they are low income or disabled in some way).

Here are the two top stories from the newsletter.

Smith Supports Medical Home Model for Medicare Beneficiaries and  Dual-Eligibles

Last week, Congressman Adam Smith cosponsored the Direct Medicare and Duel-Eligible Care Act, H.R. 3315.  This legislation would create a demonstration program in which Medicare would pay a flat monthly fee of less than $100 for Medicare beneficiaries and $135 for dual-eligibles to a qualified medical home for primary care services and preventative medicine.  By charging a monthly fee, this program promotes appropriate use of primary and preventative care.

This bill would also help increase access to care while lowering costs.  Physicians would be responsible for maintaining the health of seniors and people with disabilities by preventing and monitoring chronic conditions and other primary care responsibilities.  The demonstration program could provide pertinent information on how best to treat Medicare patients and keep health care costs under control.

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Smith Cosponsors National Nurse Act of 2011

In December, Adam became a cosponsor of the National Nurse Act of 2011, H.R. 3679.  This legislation would create a National Nurse for Public Health, within the Office of the Surgeon General and would give the current Chief Nurse Officer increased responsibilities for preventative care and national standards of health.

While the Surgeon General is charged with informing and advising our nation’s physicians, the National Nurse would be focused on organizing and communicating to the public, giving public health personnel, licensed volunteers, and community leaders the tools necessary to enhance existing community services to focus on prevention.