Call to Action — Medicaid Reform

Tell Governor Cuomo that Medicaid Reform Should Include Community Health Workers!

Governor Cuomo has created a “Medicaid Redesign Team” to explore the issues with spiraling costs and massive inefficiency within the Medicaid program.  New York’s Medicaid is one of the most expensive health programs in the nation, yet those enrolled in Medicaid continue to exhibit extremely poor outcomes in their rates of disease, infection, and measures of social, behavioral, and community health when compared to non-Medicaid recipients.

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are a natural fit to manage the cost, quality and access issues of the Medicaid population.  CHWs are frontline workers who usually share common qualities such as race, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, and life experience with the community members they serve.  CHWs understand the complex realities of people living in vulnerable circumstances, such as Medicaid recipients.  There is extensive evidence proving that “high users” of health care who are living in poverty and have various complicating issues will use health care services less and have better outcomes when their emotional, mental, and social needs are met.  CHWs are uniquely positioned to approach health from this comprehensive and holistic context.   Implementation of CHWs also has the potential to build community health capacity, foster self-sufficiency, and create jobs for community members in distressed neighborhoods with limited opportunities for employment.  Please encourage the Governor’s “Medicaid Redesign Team” to adopt CHWs as a strategy as we re-envision opportunities for health for the poor and vulnerable.

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Thank you!