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City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has followed up on a promise to help prepare New Yorkers for the coming changes to the healthcare industry.

Quinn announced a new partnership today to help prioritize retraining for current healthcare workers to meet new standards and incentivize jobs in the industry. The effort comes as city leaders seek to capitalize on the expected demand for healthcare jobs stemming from the rollout of the national Affordable Care Act and the state's Medicaid redesign.

Quinn first announced the new partnership, called the New York Health Employment Coalition, during her State of the City address in February.

"If we get this right, it will mean thousands of new job opportunities for working and middle class New Yorkers," Quinn said when she introduced her proposal in February. "If we get it wrong, we’ll see major disruptions in our healthcare system, and healthcare professionals could actually lose their jobs.

The coalition is co-chaired by Health Committee Chairwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Greater New York Hospital Association President Kenneth Raske, 1199 SEIU Training and Employment Funds Executive Director Deborah King and the City University of New York's Dean of Health Bill Ebenstein.

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A delay in its bidding process has left the state's Office of Medicaid Inspector General without private investigators who do the foot work rooting out fraud and abuse. Without them, the state is failing to recover tens of millions of dollars. The investigators are usually retired detectives. Also, the office has weakened its in-house enforcement, leaving many cases without a primary investigator or supervisor assigned. Meanwhile, the federal government is asking the state to return a $27.4 million reimbursement to Washington. An audit found an "extremely high" incidence of billing errors for services for Medicaid recipients who were in a state rehabilitation program.

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The Cuomo Administration plans to try offering cash bonuses to Medicaid recipients who get regular check ups. The incentive will initially target 16,700 people with health problems like diabetes and hypertension. Meanwhile, community health advocates in the Bronx say more jobs for the community could improve the overall health of the borough. Also, the Health and Hospitals Corporation's inspector general will make more records available to the public after it was exposed to have failed to follow up on hundreds of cases.

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