Cuomo Announces Picks for Panel Tasked With Finding $2.5 Billion in Medicaid Savings
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his state budget address in Albany.
Credit: Cuomo's Flickr account

The Cuomo administration formally announced Tuesday who will sit on the new Medicaid Redesign Team, a panel of government and health care officials who will now be responsible for finding $2.5 billion in savings from the state’s Medicaid program.

The panel will hold its first public meeting next Tuesday, Feb. 11, and is expected to submit a report with its recommendations for savings sometime in March, Cuomo’s office said.

Cuomo had already revealed the panel’s two co-chairs in January — Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health and Dennis Rivera, the former chair of SEIU Healthcare. But the remainder of the panel, called MRT II, hadn’t yet been made public.

The list released Tuesday revealed that the panel will be comprised largely of officials from state government and representatives from the healthcare industry.

There were a few outliers on the list. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, was named to the panel, as was Mario Cilento, the president of New York State AFL-CIO — one of the state’s largest labor unions.

Robert Megna, the former director of the state Division of Budget, was also chosen to sit on the panel. Megna, now a top official with the State University of New York, is still considered a close ally to the Cuomo administration following years as Cuomo’s top money manager.

Cuomo also named four members of his cabinet to the panel, including state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Ann Sullivan, the commissioner for the state Office of Mental Health.

The remainder of the panel is comprised of officials from various health care providers, and representatives from the industry.

Christopher Del Vecchio, president and CEO of MVP Health Care, was chosen for the panel. He’s joined by other officials from the industry, like Pat Wang, president and CEO of Healthfirst, and Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health.

The panel, per Cuomo’s directive, will not be allowed to submit recommendations that negatively impact local governments or Medicaid beneficiaries.

According to Cuomo’s office, the panel will essentially be responsible with identifying why Medicaid costs have outgrown the state’s ability to pay for them and recommend changes and efficiencies that would avoid a future situation.

The same tactic was used when Cuomo first took office in 2011. He convened, at the time, the first Medicaid Redesign Team, which found billions of dollars in savings in the state’s Medicaid program.

The new panel’s recommendations don’t have a firm due date, but lawmakers have asked that they be delivered sooner, rather than later, so they have time to digest them before the state budget is due. The deadline for the spending plan is April 1.

Here’s the full roster of Cuomo’s new MRT II:

  • Co-chair: Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health
  • Co-chair: Dennis Rivera, Former Chair of SEIU Healthcare
  • Dr. Steven Corwin, President and CEO, New York Presbyterian
  • Thomas Quatroche, PhD, President and CEO, Erie County Medical Center
  • LaRay Brown, CEO of One Brooklyn Health
  • Mario Cilento, President of New York State AFL-CIO
  • Christopher Del Vecchio, President and CEO of MVP Health Care
  • Pat Wang, President and CEO of Healthfirst
  • Emma DeVito, President and CEO of VillageCare
  • Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health
  • Steven Bellone, County Executive, Suffolk County
  • T.K. Small, Director of Policy at Concepts of Independence
  • Donna Colonna, CEO, Services for the UnderServed (S:US)
  • Todd Scheuermann, Secretary of Finance, NYS Senate
  • Blake Washington, Secretary of Ways and Means, NYS Assembly
  • Paul Francis, Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services, Governor's Office
  • Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of Health
  • Dr. Ann Sullivan, Commissioner for the Office of Mental Health
  • Arlene González-Sánchez, Commissioner of the Office of Addiction Services and Supports
  • Dr. Theodore Kastner, Commissioner of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities
  • Robert Megna, Senior Vice Chancellor and COO, SUNY