March 21, 2005
Report: To restrain Medicaid spending, New York should emulate Massachusetts
New York State could reduce its spending on Medicaid dramatically by emulating Massachusetts, a state well known for traditionally liberal social spending policies and for some of the world’s best hospitals, according to the third installment in the Public Policy Institute’s Medicaid Watch ’05 series.
“The Bay State is home to hospitals and medical schools widely considered among the best and most prestigious in the world. There’s no skimping on talent; its ratios of doctors and nurses to population are both the highest in the country. No one suggests the nursing homes in Massachusetts are noticeably inferior to those in New York,” the report said.
“Yet, somehow, this neighboring state that has produced some of the country’s most liberal politicians and policies manages to spend far less on Medicaid than we do."
The report notes that:
- New York’s overall Medicaid spending is two-thirds
higher than Massachusetts’ when adjusted for population,
and that New York’s spending on hospitals is more
than twice as high as Massachusetts’s.
- New York’s program covers far more people, with
19 percent of our population enrolled in
Medicaid compared to 14.3 percent in Massachusetts.
- New York’s somewhat higher percentage of needy people
can’t justify the difference in spending. New York
spends more per recipient, not just more per capita, and
its spending per recipient is 56 percent higher than the
- New York’s health-care outcomes are worse than Massachusetts’
by several key measures, including infant mortality and
- Adjusted for population, New York has one-third more hospital beds than Massachusetts, and the average hospital stay in Massachusetts is 4.9 days, compared to New York’s 6.0 days.
The Public Policy Institute is publishing Medicaid Watch ’05 to document the case for reforms that reduce overall costs imposed on New York’s taxpayers, businesses, farmers, and county governments. All reports in the series are at www.ppinys.org.
These reports were researched and written by Robert Ward, the Institute’s director of research. To interview him about Medicaid spending or any of the reports, telephone 518/465-7511, ext. 271.