New York Health Equity Reform

On January 9, 2024, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finally approved New York State’s 1115 waiver amendment to establish the New York Health Equity Reform (NYHER) Program. That application, which is the successor to the state’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program that expired in March 2020, was first described in a concept paper issued by the Department of Health (DOH) in August 2021, and was filed with CMS in September 2022. The approved waiver amendment, which expires on March 31, 2027, includes most of the features included in the original application, but not all.

The overall goals of NYHER include:

  • Health-Related Social Needs: Investments in health-related social needs (HRSN) via greater integration between primary care providers and community-based organizations, with a goal of improved quality and outcomes.
  • Health Equity: Improving quality and outcomes of enrollees in geographic areas that have a longstanding history of health disparities and disengagement from the health system, including through an incentive program for safety net providers with exceptional exposure to enrollees with historically worse health outcomes and HRSN challenges.
  • Integrated Care: Focus on integrated primary care, behavioral health, and HRSN with a goal to improve population health and health equity outcomes for high-risk enrollees, including kids/youth, pregnant and postpartum individuals, the chronically homeless, and individuals with substance use disorder (SUD).
  • Workforce: Workforce investments with a goal of equitable and sustainable access to care in Medicaid.
  • Regional Approaches: Developing regionally focused approaches, including new value-based purchasing (VBP) programs, with a goal of statewide accountability for improving health, outcomes, and equity.

These goals are embodied in four new initiatives: (1) HRSN, (2) a Health Equity Regional Organization (HERO), (3) Medicaid Hospital Global Budget Initiative, and (4) Strengthen the Workforce. Each will be examined in turn.Continue Reading CMS Approves a New 1115 Waiver Amendment:  The New York Health Equity Reform (NYHER) Program