Collaboration and innovation by Governor Cuomo, legislative leaders, and healthcare providers in recent years have resulted in better care, expanded coverage and access, unprecedented investments, preserved federal funding, and lower per capita Medicaid spending in New York. Not coincidentally, New York was recently cited as the “most improved state” in national health rankings.
Results like these are no accident. Here’s how they were accomplished.
Access & Coverage
New York’s uninsured rate reached a record low of 4.7 percent in 2017 (down from 10 percent in 2013), thanks to the state’s efforts to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act. With 19 million New Yorkers, this achievement means almost one million additional people have secured the ability to get the care they need, including preventive tests and screenings, inpatient hospital care, physical therapy, mental health counseling, cancer care, and hospice care. The benefits available in New York are some of the most comprehensive in the nation, and the human benefit of less worrying and more comfort is incalculable.
So, how did this happen? Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York policymakers expanded access to meaningful healthcare coverage by:
- establishing the Essential Plan—a low-cost health plan for individuals and families who do not qualify for Medicaid;
- expanding Medicaid coverage to more people; and
- bolstering commercial coverage by building the highly successful state-run NY State of Health insurance marketplace.
More low-income individuals, immigrants, and members of other vulnerable populations are now getting the care they need, where they need it. For now, their access to needed services has been preserved thanks to New York’s tireless fight against attempts in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut federal funding.
The Governor’s healthcare efforts haven’t stopped at the state border. His leadership to provide emergency care and emergency Medicaid coverage to residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands illustrate his deep commitment to providing coverage and access to quality healthcare services to all who need it.
Investment and Innovation
New York’s current efforts will pave the way toward tomorrow’s improvements.
Governor Cuomo initiated the Medicaid Redesign Team in 2011 to pursue fundamental changes to the state’s Medicaid program. Following this effort, New York was able to partner with the federal government to invest billions into New York’s healthcare system under an unprecedented Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program.
This program is fundamentally changing how care is provided to all New Yorkers and how services will be paid for in the future. It has enhanced the state’s efforts to improve care delivery for New York’s most vulnerable patients, especially patients with multiple complex challenges. Without this critical funding, New York’s healthcare infrastructure would be stuck in yesterday, rather than innovating for tomorrow.
In addition, New York has committed $3.8 billion in recent years to:
- improve the infrastructure of hospitals, health systems, and other providers;
- advance the use of electronic health records;
- build new access points for care;
- incentivize hospital consolidations; and
- improve access to primary care and behavioral healthcare.
These improvements are bringing tangible, essential services to New Yorkers in every community across our very diverse state.
Healthcare is capital-intensive. When supportive state funds are infused, provider collaboration improves, projects move forward, shovels dig in, and patients are served. New York’s healthcare investments benefit all New Yorkers by preserving and increasing community access to care and local jobs across the spectrum, from construction roles to x-ray technician roles.
Since 2011, New York has risen from 20th to 10th in America’s Health Rankings’® state-by-state analysis. Its five-year gain (2012-2017) of eight spots is the most improved of any state.
Other studies, reports, and initiatives have shown similar positive results. Through DSRIP and other initiatives, New York State has exceeded performance goals that have resulted in fewer hospital readmissions, and emergency room visits, as well as more patients getting primary care when and where they need it.
Another effort spearheaded by the administration, the New York State Sepsis Care Improvement Initiative, has prevented life-threatening infections and saved lives. Quality improvements result in families staying together, people getting back to work, and most importantly, people getting better.
Looking to the Future
Taken together, these efforts have spurred economic growth, driven innovation, and provided hope and health to millions of New Yorkers—and that’s a record to be proud of.
The collaboration of the administration, legislative leaders, and healthcare providers over the last few years has resulted in tremendous progress. Steadfast support of this collaboration and a continued commitment to its resultant healthcare initiatives, innovations, and investments in the years to come are critical. All New Yorkers stand to benefit.