Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York will request a waiver from the federal government that will allow the state to invest up to $10 billion in savings generated by the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) reforms to implement an action plan to transform the state's health care system.
The Medicaid 1115 waiver will enable New York to fully implement the MRT action plan, reinvest in the state's health care infrastructure, and lower costs over the long term. New York State requests that the federal government allow the state to reinvest over a five-year period up to $10 billion of the $17.1 billion in federal savings generated by MRT reforms.
"We have already taken the first steps to transform our state's health care system, including cutting costs to taxpayers and improving the quality of care," Governor Cuomo said. "The Medicaid Redesign Team has led the charge, and this waiver will allow New York State to fully implement the groundbreaking MRT action plan to permanently restructure our health care system and make New York a national model."
The initiatives proposed by the MRT - and adopted by the Legislature last year - have led to major savings for state and federal taxpayers. MRT initiatives are projected to save $34.3 billion over the next five years - divided between the State and federal government. If not for these MRT initiatives, state spending would have grown by $2.3 billion in the 2011-12 fiscal year alone.
As part of the waiver amendment application process and in accordance with requirements outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), New York will initiate an extensive public engagement effort. Citizens and stakeholders will participate in a range of input sessions, including public forums, topic-specific webinars, and Medicaid member focus groups. Ideas, comments and information gathered at these sessions will help inform the waiver amendment process.
More information on the Medicaid 1115 waiver amendment, opportunities to comment, as well as an outline of the public engagement and application submission process are available at http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/.
In addition, the web site includes an overview presentation of the Medicaid waiver process, which will be presented at upcoming forums (dates and locations listed below). Pre-registration for the forums is not required. However, individuals who wish to speak at the forums will be asked to register onsite; to provide for as many comments as possible, questions and comments will be limited to two minutes per speaker.
About the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT):
Established by Governor Cuomo in January 2011, the MRT has brought together stakeholders and experts from throughout the state to work cooperatively to both reform New York State's health care system and reduce costs. In January and February 2011, the MRT held a series of public meetings across the State, which provided New Yorkers valuable opportunities to share their ideas and comments. Meetings were also broadcast on the Internet and informational materials were posted on the MRT web page. In all, the MRT received more than 4,000 ideas from citizens and stakeholders.
The MRT worked in two phases. Phase 1 provided a blueprint for lowering Medicaid spending in State fiscal year 2011-12 by $2.3 billion. Phase 1 was completed in February 2011 when the MRT submitted an initial report in line with the Governor's Medicaid spending target contained in his 2011-2012 budget. The report included 79 recommendations to redesign and restructure the Medicaid program by bringing efficiencies and by generating better health outcomes for patients. The Legislature, as part of the budget process, approved 78 of the 79 recommendations it considered; these initiatives are now being implemented.
In Phase 2, to address additional issues and to monitor the implementation of key recommendations enacted in Phase 1, the MRT divided into 10 work groups. As part of their work, the groups provided 175 additional stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the MRT process. A number of public hearings were held across the state. Following these sessions, MRT recommendations were compiled and included in a final report.