Expanding Health Care Coverage

Grantee Name

Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc.

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

March 2016

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

March 2012 – March 2013

New York’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) pursued dramatic changes to Medicaid as a way to better manage care, mitigate costs, and improve health outcomes for New York’s Medicaid recipients.

Many of the Medicaid changes sought to create incentives for health care providers through capitated payments, care management fees, the establishment of health homes, and potential investments in more supportive housing. However, the changes may not adequately create incentives for patients to alter their behaviors and use of services. Patient education, incentives targeted directly to beneficiaries, and some level of personal investment could potentially increase the impact of the policy changes. Combining patient-level and provider-level activities could create more meaningful change. In 2012, NYHealth awarded Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (Manhattan Institute) a grant to identify patient-level incentives that could be incorporated into MRT’s recommendations to better promote health and decrease costs.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Identifed and examined potential strategies and programs for MRT that the State could use to create incentives for patients as a way to improve health outcomes and lower costs;
  • Conducted a literature review and interviewed State officials and other key health policymakers;
  • Examined models from across the nation and emerging efforts in New York on the use of patient-level incentives; and
  • Published findings and recommendations in a report issued by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, “Taking Ownership: The Patient Role in Medicaid,” which was shared with MRT, State officials, the New York State Department of Health, and a wide range of other key stakeholders.

In April 2016, Empire Center released a report that reviewed major elements of the State’s ongoing Medicaid overhaul since the NYHealth-funded report was released in 2012, finding that New York needs to give Medicaid patients more incentives to take better care of their own health.