NYAPRS Note: Here’s an account of one of the 81 Health Care Innovation Challenge grants approved last week by the federal Health and Human Services.
Brooklyn Care Program Gets $14.8M Boost
Crain’s Health Pulse June 19, 2012
Maimonides Medical Center last week was awarded a $14.8 million federal health care grant to create medical homes for psychiatric patients as part of the nation's effort to curb costs by treating illnesses outside hospitals.
Like most facilities, Maimonides finds inpatient admissions profitable under the current fee-for-service system of Medicaid reimbursement. But hospital Chief Executive Pamela Brier and colleagues are gambling that in the long run, keeping mentally ill patients out of the hospital will pay off.
She and the hospital's partners hope their new care program will reduce hospitalizations by 30% and save Medicaid $42 million over three years, compared with current payments.
The three-year award announced June 15 is one of 107 federal Health Care Innovation Challenge Grants awarded nationally. Maimonides will partner with health care providers, health care workers' union 1199 SEIU and other organizations.
The medical home will not be a bricks-and-mortal facility but an electronic network in which newly trained case managers and care navigators track the health of the estimated 7,500 psychiatric patients in 11 ZIP codes served by the hospital.
The new workers will be responsible for connecting directly not only with patients but with every place they seek care, whether it is a clinic, an emergency department or a specialist's office. The idea is to eliminate duplicative care, ensure that these patients are getting treatment for all their medical and mental health issues, and centralize their electronic medical records so that all caregivers are working with the same, up-to-date information.
New York is often criticized for overspending on Medicaid without improving patients' conditions, Ms. Brier said.
"Exhibit A is the example of the seriously ill mentally ill," she said, "These people are very expensive users of the health system with a lot of repetitive admissions."
Also involved in the project are Lutheran Medical Center and Lutheran Family Health Centers, the Institute for Community Living, and the 37-member Brooklyn Care Coordination Consortium.