February 14, 2020
Nine years ago, the State began the process of Medicaid redesign for children. A stated promise of redesign was to increase access to services through Medicaid and provide more service coverage under Medicaid Managed Care, all while saving costs through innovative preventive care strategies.
Despite extensive stakeholder engagement to develop the transition plan for children, the State did not commit the upfront funds necessary to support this complex transformation. There followed years of repeated delays, underfunding, and rate cuts. Now, New York is at risk of serving fewer children than were served prior to Medicaid transition.
When the plan for children’s Medicaid redesign was first developed, the State estimated that $63.7 million ($133.5 Gross) would be necessary to fully implement redesign. However, New York only committed $15 million of that total to the transition, and only funded that amount after vigorous advocacy from stakeholders and the Legislature.
Ensuring children’s access to behavioral health care in New York could not be more urgent: Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children 15-19 in New York, and more than half of children with a diagnosed mental/behavioral health condition do not receive the treatment they need. Rather than honor its promise to children and families in the State, New York has instead sought to delay and cut services. Our State must fulfill its commitment to increase access to care by fully funding and implementing the Children’s Medicaid Redesign plan.