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Cuomo, Other NYS Officials To Head To Puerto Rico, Assist With Medicaid Reforms

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials will be heading off to Puerto Rico Monday, as part of an effort to assist the commonwealth in reforming its Medicaid system.

Cuomo will be in Puerto Rico from Monday until Wednesday, along with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Secretary of State Cesar Perales, state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, state Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson, and Assembly members Marco Crespo (D-the Bronx) and Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan).

"New Yorkers help out when others are in need," Cuomo said in a news release. "The health care challenges that Puerto Rico is facing are not unlike those that we addressed successfully here in New York. I believe that together we can help the Puerto Rican government reform its health care system, save taxpayer dollars and ultimately improve the lives of millions of people - and we are proud to be helping out."

New York state officials have been working with the Medicaid director in Puerto Rico, and the staff at the Administracion de Seguros de Salud de Puerto Rico, to work on a transformation plan for the Medicaid system there, the release said.

On the trip this week, members of the New York state delegation will talk about developing a Medicaid Management Information System, and the use of data mining solutions to help lower costs and improve outcomes, as well as the process of successfully negotiating a Medicaid waiver for the federal government, the release said.

New York state officials will also tour a hospital, a clinic, and medical offices to learn about the health care system in the commonwealth, the release said.

Nearly 68 percent of residents of Puerto Rico receive their health care through Medicaid, Medicare, or Medicare Advantage, the release said.

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