New York Health Commissioner Pledges to Fix Medicaid

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New York physician Nirav Shah was sworn in Jan. 24 by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as the state’s new Commissioner to the Department of Health, after receiving a unanimous confirmation from the state’s Senate, reports the San Leandro, Calif.-based weekly newspaper, India-West.

Shah, 38, will give up his dual roles as an attending physician at New York’s Bellevue Hospital Center, which serves primarily low-income patients; and as associate investigator at Geisinger Medical Center in rural Pennsylvania, which has a large number of elderly patients.

 Shah said his first priority would be to fix the state’s troubled Medicaid system.

New York’s $53 billion Medicaid budget accounts for one-third of the general fund for a state with a current budget deficit of $10 billion. Though New York spends the most of any state on its Medicaid program, it ranks 21st in the country on delivery of health care.