Senator Kemp Hannon
6th District New York

Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Health,  recently joined with other members of the Health Committee and health care experts during a public roundtable to discuss the most effective and efficient methods to reform New York State’s Medicaid program.

“We have to implement serious systematic changes and we need to do so quickly,” said Senator Kemp Hannon. “If we do not redesign the system and put cost efficient mechanisms in place, the financial impact to our State and quality of delivery to those most in need will be devastating,” Hannon continued.

Among the recommendations addressed during the public roundtable discussion were proposals for the improvement of care delivery and quality, opportunities for savings, reduction of current costs, medical malpractice reform and qualifications for Medicaid eligibility.

Citing a recent report published by the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), President of HANYS Daniel Sisto emphasized the enactment of government shared service initiatives, leveraging the state’s purchasing power for all goods (including prescription drugs) and maximizing state owned assets through public-private partnerships in an effort to achieve savings and generate revenue. “The current Medicaid program has become unsustainable,” said Sisto. “We must implement fundamental reforms now to ensure that essential health services remain accessible to every New Yorker. Senator Hannon's leadership and renowned health policy expertise will be critical elements in this process,” Sisto continued.

Although New York State has the nation’s most expensive Medicaid program, it ranks just 21st in patient healthcare outcomes. This coupled with a $10 billion State deficit and recently enacted federal health care reform demand that New York take action.

Other recommendations were proposed by Executive Vice President of the Greater New York Hospital Association David Rich, President of Independence Care Systems Rick Surpin and Executive Director of New York Association of Counties Stephen J. Acquario.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced Senator Kemp Hannon as a key member to his Medicaid Redesign Team. The Team, established by an Executive Order announced by Governor Cuomo in his State of the State address, is charged with finding ways to save money within the Medicaid program for the upcoming state budget for the 2011-12 Fiscal Year.

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Senator Kemp Hannon leads Medicaid Reform roundtable discussion.

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