Thousands of Medicare recipients in Arizona and California with congestive heart failure and no prescription drug coverage could be eligible for low-cost medicines and care through a federal test program offered by a collaboration of health care organizations.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is paying about $300 million for a three-year pilot project to help up to 15,000 seniors get coordinated care for chronic heart conditions, an effort that could improve mortality rates from heart disease and reduce hospitalizations, officials said. The project involves Alere Medical Inc., QMed Inc., Pacifi-Care Health Systems Inc., and PacifiCare’s pharmacy management subsidiary, Prescription Solutions.
Medicare recipients hospitalized for congestive heart failure and who do not have a Medicare supplemental plan may qualify for the program, wh ich began enrolling seniors in January, said Cheryl Randolph, a spokeswoman for PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.
"The goal is to show that this program can help people live longer, improve quality of life and decrease costs," she said. "For people in Medicare fee-for-service, there is not as much coordination for chronic conditions."
The collaboration, called HeartPartners, offers daily monitoring of weight and other health indicators for signs of heart problems. Participants also have access to nurses and low co-pays for prescription drugs.