Panel unveils plan for massive Medicaid makeover

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D-N.Y.) Medicaid Redesign Team issued a report this week recommending sweeping changes that would affect health care for poor and elderly New

MINEOLA - Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D-N.Y.) Medicaid Redesign Team issued a report this week recommending sweeping changes that would affect health care for poor and elderly New Yorkers.

Cuomo says more than $1.1 billion can be cut while improving Medicaid service for the millions of people who rely on it.

The task force has introduced 79 recommendations to do so, among them implementing or increasing co-pays for those who are covered by Family and Child Health Plus plans.

Under the proposal, Medicaid would no longer cover hospice care, and husbands and wives would be required to pay for their sick spouses. The report also recommends slashing funding to ambulette companies by 66 percent.

The goal of the makeover is to move almost all of the state's 4.7 million Medicaid recipients to managed care within three years. That would put an end to the use of hospital emergency rooms that drive up costs.

The panel is expected to submit quarterly reports until the end of fiscal year 2011-2012.

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