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Delaware Joins WellPoint, AstraZeneca To Find Medicaid Savings

The state of Delaware is joining forces with an AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) and WellPoint Inc. (WLP) health-research collaboration to find ways to keep a lid on rising Medicaid costs.The state through a multi-year agreement will contribute claims data on Medicaid patients, scrubbed of certain personal details, which can be mined in an effort to improve care and cut costs. Top priorities include cutting down on unneeded emergency room visits and untangling reasons for why babies treated in hospital intensive-care units have to make return visits.Delaware is getting involved as cash-strapped states around the U.S. try to manage growing Medicaid costs, which were pumped up when spiking unemployment pushed more people toward the health-care plan for the poor. Delaware spends about 18% of its state operating budget on Medicaid and has seen a significant rise in costs over the last decade.The knowledge gained could also prove helpful as states look for ways to better treat so-called "dual-eligible...

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