Health Department Launches New Projects to Improve the Care of Chronically Ill Medicaid Patients

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 5, 2009) - The New York State Health Department today announced the creation of regional demonstration projects to address the complex health care needs and social barriers to care for chronically ill Medicaid beneficiaries.

"Seventy-five percent of the state's $46 billion Medicaid budget is spent on 20 percent of its patients, who often have multiple chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and sickle cell anemia," State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said. "Many also have histories of mental illness or are addicted to drugs or alcohol. We must help them manage their care, despite its medical complexity, to improve their health and save taxpayer dollars on New York Medicaid."

The overarching goal of these demonstrations is to establish innovative, quality-driven interdisciplinary models of care designed to improve health care quality, ensure appropriate use of services, improve clinical outcomes and reduce the cost of care for Medicaid beneficiaries with medically complex conditions.

The following entities will operate a regional demonstration project. An award in Westchester County is expected to be announced later.

Organization and Region Areas Served Annual Contract Amount
Metropolitan Region- New York City New York Health and Hospitals Corporation Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens $1,749,000
Institute For Community Living Inc. Brooklyn, Manhattan $1,748,934
UnitedHealthcare of New York Inc. Bronx, Queens $1,254,600
Long Island Region Federation Employment and Guidance Services Nassau County $917,581
Capital District Region Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center Inc. Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady County $897,000
Western Region - Buffalo UB Family Medicine, Inc. Erie County $597,750

Participation in these regional demonstration programs is voluntary for Medicaid-eligible New Yorkers. The New York State Department of Health will evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care provided under these programs. Development, implementation and evaluation of this project are supported by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), a nonprofit health policy resource center based in New Jersey, and Professor John Billings of New York University.

The selected entities under this competitive procurement will participate in a learning collaborative led by DOH and CHCS in which best practices from other states and from national research will be shared to enhance the performance of the demonstrations.

In addition, entities that reduce costs and improve health outcomes in the second and third year of the demonstration will also be eligible to participate in additional funding from a $6 million incentive pool.