Readout of HHS Secretary Becerra’s Meeting with New York State Advocates to Discuss Efforts to Close Equity Gaps in Health Care
On Tuesday, November 1, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra met virtually with advocates from New York State regarding their statewide efforts to close equity gaps, lower costs and deliver quality, equitable care in New York, particularly through Medicaid. The group focused on ways to address social determinants of health (SDOH) and the best path forward for federal and state collaboration. Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration initiatives, mental and behavioral health, investments in health centers, homelessness and housing, and environmental justice and health were all addressed. Secretary Becerra discussed recent efforts by HHS to partner with states to address social determinants of health through Medicaid Section 1115 waivers, which HHS has approved in other states. The Secretary is particularly excited to work with New York Governor Kathy Hochul, policy experts, and stakeholders on New York’s innovative 1115 Medicaid waiver, which the state recently submitted to HHS, to advance equity, expand access to treatment for behavioral health, and address social needs to Medicaid-covered individuals in New York, which are key priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration.