Joyce's senior care amendment adopted in Senate budget
Amendment would require study of senior care options and service connections

Senator Brian A. Joyce is pleased to announce that a Senior Care Options Study amendment that he co-sponsored was adopted into the FY11 Senate budget yesterday afternoon. The amendment requires the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to conduct a study to examine the Senior Care Options plans available to residents who are eligible for both Medicare and MassHealth. The rationale behind the amendment is to pinpoint cost-savings and streamline the way in which state health services reach eligible residents.
“We owe it to our seniors and to the taxpayers to provide the best health services in the most affordable way,” said Senator Joyce.
Specifically, the study will research:
· The impact of Senior Care Options plans on MassHealth spending;
· The impact of Senior Care Options plans on members’ health outcomes;
· Whether and to what extent there are barriers to enrollment in Senior Care Options plans for MassHealth members who are otherwise eligible for Medicare;
· And whether and to what extent such barriers to enrollment should be alleviated through modifications to the network or the plans.
The final report and its recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry those recommendations into effect, will be filed with the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means by the end of the calendar year.
Once the Senate completes debate on the budget, members of the Senate and House will work on a final compromise version of the FY 2011 budget. The 2011 fiscal year begins on July 1.