Helgerson’s Message Reminds Us There is HOPE even in the midst of Medicaid Reform!

Jason Helgerson has been hired by several states by now to lead major transformations in how states have utilized Medicaid.  His most recent stint was in New York where articulate mental health leaders/advocates for improved health and “behavioral” health outcomes have been very engaged in ensuring user-informed and practical system changes that would result in better outcomes in people’s lives.  Helgerson has announced his resignation after doing great work in New York and we want to share with you the letter he sent out to stakeholders across the state.  It is shared with us by Mr. Harvey Rosenthal, a person whose mental health history has informed his own excellent work for many years.  (Harvey is the Director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.)   Mr. Helgerson, whose letter follows, has been the state’s Medicaid Director for several years now.

Dear Stakeholder Community:

 Happy Friday.  As you may have heard, I have decided to resign from my position effective April 6th.  It has been a tremendous honor to help lead New York’s effort to fundamentally transform Medicaid and health care.  Together we have made the world a better place through innovation and hard work.  While much has been accomplished there is still much left to do!  I want to make clear that my departure will have NO impact on this important mission.  The Department of Health and its leadership remains 100% committed to the causes of MRT, DSRIP and VBP. 

 While I am sad to go, I am so bullish about our state’s collective future.  Delivery systems across our state are changing and health outcomes are measurably improved.  Organizations are working together as never before and as a result the system is really starting to work like a seamless, patient-centered delivery system focused on results.  I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for your collective work.  Know that I will be cheering you on as you show the world that collaborative, accountable care that meaningfully addresses the social determinants of health, improves health care outcomes as well as community health. 

 I wish you all the very best.

 Jason Helgerson,

NYS Medicaid Director

Fellow advocate, let us not expect any less here in our state than what New York has accomplished through its inclusive and collaborative effort!

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