From the Times Newsweekly:
Assemblyman Mike Miller has announced an Assembly proposal that would shift costs of Medicaid administration from counties to the state.
As described, this measure would save local taxpayers over $370 million when fully implemented by improving uniformity in eligibility and service determinations, increasing efficiencies, and consolidating duplicative services and contracts.
Specifically, the Assembly proposal to pick up county costs and duties related to Medicaid administration would:
• streamline Medicaid eligibility determinations, which often vary between counties;
• require the state Department of Health to limit annual growth at a fixed percentage or at an amount to be determined in the state budget;
• allow for the transition of local employees to state service; and
• require the state health commissioner to develop a plan assessing the effectiveness of a state takeover of Medicaid costs and report to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2011.
If enacted, this measure would be implemented over a five-year period, starting in 2011-12. That would produce total savings of $370 million statewide including $250 million in New York City. In 2010-2011, the savings would be $68 million statewide including $45 million in New York City.
Total Medicaid administration costs are estimated at $1.1 billion in 2010-11. The county contribution toward the administrative component of Medicaid will be limited to $329.8 million in 2010-11. The remainder of the non-federal share, $221.5 million, will be paid by the state. Since local administration spending has doubled in the last five years, the state takeover will relieve the burden on counties and New York City, and bring efficiency to Medicaid administration.