Albany, NY (January 5, 2011)
Click here to view Executive Order #5: Establishing the Medicaid Redesign Team
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced in his State of the State address that he has issued an Executive Order aimed at redesigning New York’s outsized Medicaid program. The order calls for the creation of a new Medicaid Redesign Team to find ways to save money within the Medicaid program for the upcoming state budget for the 2011-12 Fiscal Year.
“New York’s bloated Medicaid program, which spends at a rate more than twice the national average, must be reformed to help our state begin to make ends meet,” said Governor Cuomo. “This new team has been tasked with finding ways to save Medicaid money which will finally give taxpayers a needed break.”
Under Governor Cuomo’s Order, the Team is to begin work no later than Friday, January 7, and must submit its first report with findings and recommendations to the Governor by March 1 for consideration in the budget process. The Team shall submit quarterly reports thereafter until the end of Fiscal Year 2011-12, when it disbands.
The Medicaid Redesign Team will include up to 25 voting members appointed by the Governor including:
- State officers or state employees with relevant expertise.
- Two members of the New York State Assembly, one recommended by the Speaker of the Assembly and one recommended by the Minority Leader of the Assembly.
- Two members of the New York State Senate, one recommended by the Temporary President of the Senate and one recommended by the Minority Leader of the Senate.
- Leaders with expertise in the healthcare industry.
- Leaders with expertise in the healthcare insurance industry.
- Business and consumer leaders.
New York State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson will serve as the Team’s executive director and the state Budget Director will serve as a non-voting member.
New York’s multi-billion dollar Medicaid program is paid for by state, county and federal taxes. In a majority of the State’s counties, Medicaid costs alone account for more than half of the entire county tax levy.
New York spends more than twice the national average on Medicaid on a per capita basis, and spending per enrollee is the second highest in the nation. At the same time, New York ranks 21st out of all states for overall health system quality and ranks last among all states for avoidable hospital use and costs.
Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties said, “County leaders applaud Governor Cuomo for advancing this timely initiative to improve the Medicaid Program in New York. Local taxes finance over $7 billion of this massive health care program, and this is unsustainable. As the State's administrative partner for Medicaid, we know what works and what doesn't work. We look forward to developing ways to improve patient health care and bring about significant efficiencies in this important program."
Steven M. Safyer, MD, President and CEO of Montefiore, The University Hospital for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said, “I am strongly in support of Governor Cuomo’s call to reduce Medicaid costs through systematic reform. We have seen that when care for Medicaid beneficiaries, particularly those with complex conditions, is well-coordinated and well-managed, patients have a better experience, their quality of care is improved, and the overall costs of care are significantly reduced. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s leadership in calling for fundamental changes in how Medicaid services are provided and paid for to achieve sustained cost-savings and improved quality.”
Carol Raphael, President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the state’s oldest and largest home care agency, said, “The Visiting Nurse Service of New York applauds Governor Cuomo's call for a thoughtful, collaborative approach to restructuring the State's Medicaid program; we are prepared to work with him and his Administration toward the enactment of policies that focus on coordinating care to the State's most vulnerable patients, who often suffer from multiple complex conditions. “
Ken Raske, President of the Greater New York Hospital Association said, “Governor Cuomo’s review of our state’s bloated Medicaid system will bring much needed efficiency to a program that serves so many. We can effectively retain services for those who truly need them while delivering savings for taxpayers. It’s time for smart reforms like this to bring health care into an era of prosperity.”
Dan Sisto, President of the Healthcare Association of New York State said, “We all understand that that New York is facing a very difficult financial challenge but we are encouraged by the Governor’s willingness to work with us and other Medicaid stakeholders. We agree that a fundamental restructuring of the program is overdue and that the better coordination of care for individuals with complex needs can produce both savings and better care.”
Pat Wang, President and CEO of Health First, said, “I am tremendously encouraged by the Governor’s recognition of the need for a fundamental restructuring of the State’s Medicaid program and his commitment to do so in partnership with providers, workers and consumers. He is right in saying that better coordination of care for people with complex needs provides an opportunity for both expense reduction and better service.”
George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said, “We commend Governor Cuomo’s innovative plan to study and eliminate inefficiencies in Medicaid while preserving the quality of care for our most vulnerable residents. We look forward to working with the administration to ensure healthcare is provided in a reliable, responsible manner.”