Bending NY’s Medicaid curve by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

Per-recipient spending by New York's Medicaid program has long far exceeded the national norm, a telling symptom of inefficiency in the state's health plan for the poor. But the gap appears to have narrowed significantly during Governor Andrew Cuomo's term, with New York's spending rate falling at about twice the national average between 2010 and 2014.

E.R. usage rates defy expectations by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

Here’s a puzzling statistic: Recipients enrolled in Medicaid managed care plans use emergency rooms more often, not less, than those in the old-style “fee for service” program.

Medicaid reform comes under fire NY Torch

A study charges that Medicaid managed care plans are systematically denying care to elderly and disabled shut-ins. While the report raises concerns, its findings do not warrant abandoning an important reform effort.

Medicaid audit misses big picture by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli accentuates the negative in a new audit of the state’s Medicaid managed care program, faulting two participating insurers for “wasting millions of state Medicaid dollars.” But he omits two important pieces of context.

The scale of New York’s opioid habit by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

A study by researchers in the state Health Deparments, just published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, documents widespread use of prescription opioids in New York.

A head-scratcher in the health budget (updated) by Bill Hammond | NY Torch

Albany’s practice of doling out millions in “bullet aid” to certain school districts at the behest of favored legislators has become a familiar ritual of pork-barrel politics. But a little-noticed provision of this year’s budget directs $30 million to a single nursing home in the Bronx, which is unusual even by the standards of New York State government.