New York State Health Commissioner Says Reform Can Bring Down Costs
New York State Commissioner of Health Nirav R. Shah told students in Yale SOM's MBA for Executives: Leadership in Healthcare (MBA-e) program that a more cost-effective, efficient healthcare system is possible and New York State is proof.
Shah, who earned his medical and public health degrees at Yale, addressed MBA-e students at Yale SOM on September 21 as part of the program's Visiting Scholars series, which gives the healthcare professionals in the program the chance to engage directly with leaders from throughout the industry. A leading researcher in methods to improve patient care, Shah is also nationally recognized for his ideas on how to transition to less expensive, patient-centered healthcare systems.
In his talk at Yale SOM, Shah advocated the creation of an interconnected "healthcare ecosystem" linking care providers, specialists, and insurers in a streamlined, less expensive system with patient care and preventative health measures at its center.
"For too long, public health and healthcare and prevention have been in separate silos," Shah said, pointing to the Medicaid reforms that New York State has enacted in the last two years under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as a budding example of how the system can be improved. New York has established a Medicaid Redesign Team, composed of various healthcare stakeholders, to direct a Medicaid overhaul, Shah said.
Changes to New York's Medicaid system are ongoing, and Shah said they will save the federal government $34 billion in reduced costs over the next five years. The initial reforms included switching from fee-for-service to managed plans; reducing the global annual growth cap from 14% to 3%; and investing in a "medical home" model of integrated medical care services all under one roof.
After his address, Shah answered a range of student questions about the future of healthcare reform. He said that the trend toward clinical integrationómedical practices where specialists and general practitioners work in the same locationówill continue, regardless of the outcome of the November presidential election.