Jason Helgerson’s tenure as Medicaid Director of New York State ended last Friday, after more than seven years in the position. In an article posted on HealthAffairs.org, Helgerson discussed the current state of Medicaid, along with the five most important lessons he learned while Medicaid Director in first Wisconsin, then New York State.

Helgerson stated his belief that Medicaid should lead the way in healthcare delivery system reform, and that Medicaid is the most important health insurance program in the United States. CMA has worked extensively with New York State on Medicaid programs during Helgerson’s time in charge. In the article, Helgerson notes that New York has, “reduced per person spending by nearly 10 percent and improved patient outcomes.”

The Medicaid Data Warehouse CMA developed for New York State has helped the state in their effort to reduce costs while using healthcare data to improve outcomes. This solution allowed New York State to recover $1.73 billion in improperly expended Medicaid funds over a 3-year period. As a result, New York State has been able to fill budget gaps and reinvest these savings into future program efforts. As noted in the article, this has helped lead to Medicaid members being extremely satisfied with their coverage and care.

In collaboration with New York State and IBM, and other partners, CMA has also worked to change healthcare delivery in the state with the Health Home Initiative. By using this data-driven solution, we have helped New York State Medicaid patients receive a speedier diagnosis, reduced preventable health visits, and better managed high-risk patient cases.

CMA President Ken Romanski, along with CEO Kay Stafford, released the following statement to thank Mr. Helgerson for his time as Medicaid Director. “Kay and I would like to congratulate you on this announcement and wish you well in your next endeavor. Thank you again for the opportunity for CMA to play a key role in your vision for NYS Medicaid Transformation over the past 8 years.”