2011-01-21 / Community

Governor WantsYour Medicaid Suggestions

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of the State’s new Medicaid Redesign Web site to track the progress of reforming New York’s costly Medicaid system, and to invite the public’s participation in the process. The Web site, http://governor. ny.gov/medicaidredesign, includes electronic forms for Medicaid stakeholders and the public to suggest reforms to the system. The Web site will be an integral component to the reform process, which includes the Medicaid Redesign Team, created last week through Executive Order by Governor Cuomo. The Web site will also include listings of the Team’s public hearings and prepared reports.

“It is imperative for the public, as well as stakeholders and government officials, to be part of the process of reforming the State’s Medicaid system, and this Web site will help make that happen,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Web site will be a component to developing our plan to reign in Medicaid costs without compromising care.”

The Medicaid Redesign Team has been tasked by Governor Cuomo to find ways to reduce costs and increase quality and efficiency in the Medicaid program for the upcoming 2011-12 Fiscal Year. As part of its work, the Team is seeking ideas from the public at large, the health care workforce, and experts in health care delivery and insurance, economics, business, consumer rights and other relevant areas.

The Medicaid Redesign Team will undertake the most comprehensive examination of New York’s Medicaid system since its inception, and it must submit its first report with findings and recommendations to the Governor by March 1, for consideration in the budget process. It will also submit quarterly reports thereafter until the end of 2011-12 fiscal year, when it will disband.

The Team will consider reform ideas from health care professionals, administrators, stakeholders, and the general public through regional public hearings and the online survey forms. More than $53 billion is spent annually on New York’s Medicaid program to provide health care to more than 4.7 million people in need. The program is funded through state, county and federal taxes. In effect, Medicaid is the largest health insurance program in New York State.

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. 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.

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