New York launches website to redesign Medicaid, asks public for input

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will convene the first meeting of his Medicaid Redesign Team today. Earlier this week, Gov. Cuomo launched a website to track the Redesign Team’s progress and he has asked New Yorkers to help.

In an effort to curb costs and improve services, Gov. Cuomo issued Executive Order Five, creating the Medicaid Redesign Team. The Team is charged to suggest changes to New York’s $53 billion per year system for the upcoming 2011 – 2012 Fiscal Year. A wide array of stakeholders were appointed to the Redesign Team, with members including leaders from Mr. Cuomo’s administration, the state legislature, hospitals, businesses, unions, academia and non-profits.

In launching a public website to correspond with the effort, Gov. Cuomo said this week that the website would be a component to developing a plan to reign in Medicaid costs.

“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,” the governor said in a statement.

The governor also plans to initiate regional public hearings and conduct online surveys to better understand public sentiment and receive public input.

The 25-member Team must submit its first report with findings and recommendations to the Governor by March 1 for consideration in the budget process, and shall submit quarterly reports thereafter until the end of Fiscal Year 2011-12, when it will disband.

New York Medicaid spends more than $53 billion annually and provides health care to more than 4.7 million people across the state.

“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,” he said. “This new team has been tasked with finding ways to save Medicaid money which will finally give taxpayers a needed break.”