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Managed Care For Low-Income Populations with Special Needs: The Tennessee Experience


Kaiser/Commonwealth Low-Income Coverage and Access Project

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund are jointly sponsoring The Low-Income Coverage and Access Project to examine how changes in the Medicaid program and the movement toward managed care are affecting health insurance coverage and access to care for low-income populations. This large-scale project, initiated in 1994, has examined the impact of changes in eight states: California, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. Information is being collected through case studies, surveys and focus groups to assess changes in health insurance coverage and access to care from the perspectives of numerous key stakeholders – – consumers, state officials, managed care plans, and providers.This paper provides a targeted review of Tennessee’s experience providing health care to individuals with special needs under TennCare, its Medicaid managed care initiative. The first part reviews the experience of TennCare Partners, the behavioral health carve-out program created in 1996. The second part reviews how TennCare’s structure affects the disabled and chronically ill.

Report (.pdf)