Donna Frescatore to take over as state Medicaid director

Donna Frescatore to take over as state Medicaid director

By Dan Goldberg Politico March 15, 201

Donna Frescatore, who has led NY State of Health — the state's online insurance exchange — for the last five years, will become the next state Medicaid director, replacing Jason Helgerson when he leaves next month.

The move allows the Cuomo administration roughly eight months to find a new executive director for Frescatore's position, as open enrollment season begins in November. It also offers the state a Medicaid director intimately familiar with the state's complicated waivers and a long-time veteran of state government.

Frescatore previously worked with Jim Introne, a former adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo focused on the state Medicaid program, and served as Medicaid director in 2010 under former Gov. David Paterson.

She first joined the Department of Health in 1998, after 17 years in the state Department of Civil Service. Frescatore has also served as Cuomo's deputy director of health care redesign.

She takes over the program in the middle of an ambitious $8 billion delivery system reform incentive payment program — a joint effort with the federal government to overhaul how Medicaid services New Yorkers.

The state Medicaid program is one of the most expensive state programs, with a $70 billion budget that touches almost every payer and provider in the state.

Helgerson, who has served in the position for nearly eight years, is expected to leave in April, after Albany approves the state budget.

Nick Niedzwiadek contributed to this report.