Seward Joins Medicaid Reform Roundtable

James L. Seward

January 18, 2011

ALBANY, 01/18/10 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today joined with other members of the Senate 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.

“Today’s discussion served as a solid starting point that will help move us toward useful improvements of the state’s Medicaid system,” said Senator Seward.  “New York spends over $1 billion each week on Medicaid.  Clearly, changes must be made.”

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.

“I was pleased that much of today’s discussion focused on more efficient delivery of services – in my mind that is true Medicaid reform,” Seward continued.

In addition, Seward agreed with a call for additional mechanisms to help prevent Medicaid fraud.  “Providing county governments with the tools they need to aggressively combat abuse and block fraud before it occurs will save localities money up front and ensure deserving individuals and families receive the appropriate care.”

Governor Cuomo has also called for Medicaid reform initiating his own Medicaid Redesign Team.  The team, established by an executive order, is charged with finding ways to save money within the Medicaid program for the upcoming state budget.

“With the state facing dire financial straits, all sides are rightfully focused on the need for Medicaid reform.  Now it is time to harness the shared desire and truly revamp the system,” Seward concluded.