New York would receive $1.5 billion over three years in additional Medicaid funds if HHS approves an amendment to the state's 1996 Medicaid waiver. The initial waiver allowed New York to reduce some benefits to expand enrollment and with a 2001 expansion, ultimately saved $6 billion in Medicaid spending over eight years. The amendment would return $1.5 billion of the federal savings to New York to invest in capacity control, cost containment, home health visits and information technology. For example, the state would finance visiting nurse care for some Medicaid patients now receiving long-term care at institutions in hopes of reducing system costs. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said he supported the partnership with New York but that the amendment still needed approval from his department. Leavitt said he hoped to develop other federal-state partnerships to cut healthcare costs. -- by Ralph Loos
N.Y. may get back $1.5 billion in Medicaid savings
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