Albany, NY - September 12, 2013 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Supportive Housing initiative will undertake significant investments to create new affordable housing units and provide needed support to nearly 5,000 high-need individuals, following significant Medicaid savings totaling more than $4 billion achieved over the last year under the MRT initiative. Additionally, over the next five years, the State is on track to save a combined $34.3 billion.
“The Medicaid Redesign Team’s work is continuing to produce results in the State’s health care system including improved quality of care, increased access and significant cost savings,” Governor Cuomo said. “Under the Supportive Housing Initiative, the State is making major investments in affordable housing so that New Yorkers who are most in need have a stable and healthier environment to call home. In the long run, this will mean better health outcomes for vulnerable New Yorkers and savings in the State’s health care system. This is yet another example of New York State leading the nation in effective and efficient health care reform.”
The MRT Supportive Housing Initiative is essential for New York State to achieve the “Triple Aim” of better health, better care, and lower costs for traditionally underserved populations. When phase one of the initiative is fully implemented, it will provide nearly 5,000 individuals with access to supportive housing through capital investments to construct new supportive housing units, and rental subsidies and service supports for New York’s high-need Medicaid members.
To date, this first phase includes a commitment of $46.7 million in capital funds to construct 12 new buildings in the next 24 to 36 months that will create 483 new supportive housing units, as well as $27.9 million in rent subsidies and services to support 4,355 individuals. The buildings will be located at the following locations throughout the state:
MRT Affordable Housing Projects
- Creston Avenue (Bronx)
- Coler-Goldwater/Metropolitan Hospital (Manhattan)
- Redemption Plaza (Bronx)
- Savanna Hall (Manhattan)
- Boston Road (Bronx)
- 6469 Broadway (Bronx)
- 3362 Third Avenue (Bronx)
- Providence Housing Development Corporation (Monroe)
- Opportunities for Broome (Broome)
- Polish Community Center (Erie)
- Mercy Haven (Suffolk)
- Finger Lakes United Cerebral Palsy (Finger Lakes)
“A critical component to improving the health of New Yorkers and containing health care costs is to ensure that an individual’s housing needs are also met,” State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah M.D., M.P.H said. “By increasing the availability of supportive housing for high-need Medicaid beneficiaries, we will be able to reduce Medicaid costs and improve the quality of care for these individuals.”
“There is compelling evidence, both in New York and nationally, that for people coping with chronic illness or disability and behavioral health challenges, the lack of stable housing often results in avoidable health care utilization and, in turn, avoidable Medicaid expenses,” said Jason Helgerson, New York’s Medicaid Director. “There is a growing national recognition that addressing the social determinants of health is critical for improving health while reducing health care costs. This is most evident in the matter of housing.”
The Affordable Housing work group, which was created in Phase 2 of the MRT initiative, is comprised of more than 40 stakeholders. The investments in new housing units and rental subsidies will increase housing options for vulnerable residents receiving Medicaid, including frail elderly New Yorkers living in the community, individuals with serious mental health and substance abuse disorders, those living with HIV and AIDS, individuals with developmental disabilities, and the chronic homeless. To evaluate the program’s effectiveness in reducing Medicaid costs, the State Health Department will use a supportive housing data collection tool to track users of all the MRT Supportive Housing programs.
Established in 2011 by Executive Order by Governor Cuomo, MRT was comprised of stakeholders and experts from throughout the state who worked cooperatively to reform the state’s health care system and reduce costs. The MRT has become a national reform model for cost-effective, high-quality and patient-centered health care. In the past year alone, New York has saved $4.6 billion, while adding 154,000 people to the Medicaid rolls and improving health outcomes. For more information on MRT, go to http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/.