90% of NYS $1.5 Billion in Healthcare Enhancements are Awarded to Hospitals

NYAPRS Note: Last Friday, Governor Cuomo awarded $1.2 billion in Capital Infrastructure grants to assist healthcare providers to build or expand services and their internal systems to advance the goals of the state’s DSRIP program.

Despite extensive advocacy by community based providers like NYAPRS, 90% of these funds have been awarded to area hospitals. Further, hospitals were also provided an additional $355 million in ‘Essential Health Care Provider Support’ that will be used by hospitals to pay down some of their debt.

These new funds are additive to the $7+ billion that is already being allocated to PPS regional care improvement programs, almost all of which are led by many of the same hospitals that will receive these new monies.

A number of the awards will be used by hospitals to integrate behavioral and physical health (see below), with no indication that community based BH providers will have any role here. NYAPRS and other groups have been extremely concerned that hospitals could chose to build their own BH services rather than to buy ones provided by community providers with decades of experience in doing so.

A very small proportion of the new funds will be going to health care centers and even fewer community based organizations, 3 of which include NYAPRS members agencies BHSN (North Country): $3.8 million for an Integrated Health Center of Excellence; Lakeview Health Services (Western New York): $154,000 for transitional supportive housing; Community Access (NYC): $9.4 million for Crisis Respite Expansion and Integrated Delivery System development and Institute for Community Living (NYC): $3 million for Transitional Housing and an Integrated Health Hub

Nonetheless, since the state has explicitly set goals around strengthening and supporting community-based care as part of its healthcare reform efforts, we strongly object to the negligible proportion of funding devoted to these services.

As Medicaid Matters’ Lara Kassel said yesterday, “this was an issue MMNY took up when the over $1B showed up in last year’s budget for capital for hospitals, and we have joined with the Community Health Care Association of NYS (CHCANYS) and other community-based provider groups in asking for a better distribution of funds. The bottom line is that State funding should mirror the State’s own efforts to reform the delivery system in a way that emphasizes and supports community-based care. We will continue to carry this message.”

Cuomo Releases Long-Awaited $1.2 B. In Capital Funding For Hospitals, Clinics

By Dan Goldberg POLITICO New York March 4, 2016

The Cuomo administration on Friday awarded $1.2 billion in capital funding for hospitals and clinics, money that executives had been anxiously awaiting since it was first approved two years ago.

The vast majority of that funding — 90 percent — will go toward hospitals while about $120 million will be spent on clinics.

The funding dovetails with the state’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment, or DSRIP, program, the more than $7 billion initiative that aims to reduce avoidable hospitalizations by 25 percent by investing in a series of care management programs that, in theory, produce better health outcomes and prevent those with chronic diseases such as asthma or diabetes from relying on the emergency room as a primary source of care.

The $7 billion was part of a federal waiver, which did not allow any money to be spent on capital projects such as outpatient clinics or IT to manage population health. Those are the kind of investments that most public health officials believe are needed to achieve the desired results.

To that end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo allocated $1.2 billion in his 2014-15 budget. But for two years, the money stayed in Albany, despite cries from health care advocates for the governor to release the funding.

“The awards we are announcing today will help us meet DSRIP’s goal of reducing avoidable admissions,” said state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, who announced the awards at the Greater New York Hospital Association in Manhattan on Friday.

Zucker spoke for less than 10 minutes and did not take questions about the project.

But both trade associations stepped up to praise the governor for his efforts to improve the delivery system.

“It’s a big day for anybody who cares anything about health care,” said Ken Raske, president of Greater New York Hospital Association.

The governor’s office also released $355 million in Essential Health Care Provider Support funding, which hospitals can use to pay down debt, a move that might make them more attractive to a larger health system.

Maimonides in Brooklyn, for example, received $24 million for their advanced ambulatory care network and an additional $20 million for debt restructuring.

Maimonides recently partnered with Northwell Health and could become part of the larger system in future years.

New York City’s Health + Hospitals Corporation received the largest share of the funding, roughly $300 million, or more than 20 percent of the total. The money is being used to improve the IT system, which will better allow the city’s public hospitals to manage population health.

New York Presbyterian, which recently reported $228.9 in operating income, received more than $10 million.

“This money is so important to the health care community,” said Richard Cook, the COO of the Healthcare Association of New York State. “We are going to be able to develop new models of care.”

A full list of recipients is here: http://on.ny.gov/1Ycw3K1



Glens Falls Hospital Receives $5.1 Million For Mental Health And Hospice Services

MAURY THOMPSON thompson@poststar.com Mar 4, 2016

GLENS FALLS - Glens Falls Hospital will receive $5.1 million in state funding to expand mental health and hospice services, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.

The money is part of a state initiative to reduce Medicaid costs over time by redesigning the health care system to focus more on primary and preventive care and reduce unnecessary use of hospital emergency rooms.

The state is distributing $1.5 billion to 162 projects statewide.

“Restructuring New York’s vast health care system will require extensive structural changes to our facilities as well as new approaches in the delivery of health care,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, the state’s health commissioner.

Glens Falls Hospital will receive $3.2 million to expand primary care mental health services at community health centers and $250,000 to expand services at mental health clinics.

A coalition of area health care providers has been working on a strategy for psychologists and counselors to be available at health centers, and for physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants to see patients at mental health clinics, tailoring the care to the setting patients are most comfortable with.

The hospital would receive $1.15 million to establish a “crisis care center” at the hospital, to provide an alternative for patients in mental health crises coming to the emergency room.

Staff at the outpatient center would endeavor to identify the cause of the crisis and stabilize the patient, and network with health centers and human service agencies to direct patients to proper follow-up medical care, counseling, case management and support services.

The hospital also will receive $500,000 to establish a hospital-based hospice program.

“Glens Falls Hospital is honored” to receive the $5.1 million in state funding, said Heather Rivenburg, a hospital spokeswoman.

“As our health care delivery system evolves, these funds will help our team continue to provide the quality and accessibility of care for people across our six-county service area,” she said in a prepared statement.


N.Y. Awards $17M To Five Capital Region Health Institutions

By Claire Hughes Albany Times Union March 4, 2016

Five health institutions in the greater Capital Region are slated to receive $17 million in state funding for projects intended to improve patient care and make their facilities more sustainable amid changes in how medicine is provided and paid for.

The money is part of a $1.5 billion state commitment to help health institutions restructure in response to state Medicaid reforms. A key goal of the reforms is a 25 percent reduction in avoidable hospital admissions and emergency room visits by 2020.

Capital Region awards include:

  • Parsons Child and Family Center, Albany — $4.2 million for a behavioral health crisis stabilization center for children and teens.
  • Whitney Young Health, Albany — $1.3 million for mental health services, care coordination and expansion.
  • Ellis Hospital, Schenectady — $1.7 million for an efficiency project incorporating urgent care, primary care and behavioral health.
  • Columbia Memorial Hospital, Hudson — $4.7 million for primary care expansion and a Greene County Center.
  • Glens Falls Hospital — $5.1 million for integration and expansion of behavioral health and primary care programs, a crisis care center and hospice.