NY State Seeks Medicaid Waiver to Redesign Health Care System

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday, June 5, that New York State will seek to spend $10 billion in Medicaid savings to redesign the state’s health care system.

The state must ask the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) for a waiver that would allow the state to use up to $10 billion of the $17 to $18 billion it is projected to save in its Medicaid redesign program.  The state achieved these savings through the Medicaid Redesign Team’s (“MRT”) recommendations; the Governor and Legislature and tasked the MRT with reforming and redesigning the state’s health care system in January of 2011.

Between June 12 and June 20, 2012, the New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) will host several public forums across the state, at which the department will solicit public feedback.  The schedule for these forums is available here.

If HHS grants the waiver, those $10 billion in savings will be reinvested in the following initiatives:

  • expanding primary care;
  • developing health homes;
  • creating new care models, including ACOs;
  • expanding the Vital Access Provider and Safety Net Programs;
  • designing new hospital care models for the uninsured;
  • modernizing nursing homes as they move toward fully-integrated care management;
  • reducing the debt of not-for-profit safety net hospitals;
  • reducing hospital and emergency department use;
  • training new health care workers;
  • integrating public health initiatives with Medicaid; and
  • adopting a new regional health planning model.

The Governor’s Press Release may be found here.

Description of the programs to be funded if the waiver is granted may be found here.

The MRT’s final report may be found here.

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