Saturday, July 7, 2012

NY State in the News

The e-Health Network of Long Island, a RHIO with participating partners throughout Long Island, is the first RHIO to sign an agreement with the New York e-Health Collaborative (NYeC) to begin sharing data with other RHIOs in the state.

NYeC is spearheading efforts to launch the State Health Information Network (SHIN-NY), the state’s platform for connectivity for the health information exchange. By connecting to the SHIN-NY, the e-Health Network of Long Island is building upon the network it has already established in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

The contract signing between e-Health Network and NYeC will solidify the collaborative efforts of the SHIN-NY. Currently, there are five downstate RHIOs, looking to connect to the SHIN-NY by the end of the year. Other RHIOs in the state are also looking to follow suit by signing contracts with NYeC in the immediate future.

In another action in New York state, Governor Cuomo has just announced that grants are available through the New York State’s Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL-NY) totaling $301.1 million to help 40 hospitals and nursing homes across the state. This funding is part of nearly $3 billion that has been invested in healthcare reform through 20 separate HEAL NY phases over the past seven years. The grants will help improve primary and community-based care, eliminate excess bed capacity, and reduce over reliance on inpatient care in hospitals and nursing homes.

The grantees will work with the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team to enable healthcare facilities to provide more efficient, higher quality care through restructuring, merging, and realigning operations.

Additionally, the awards will help develop collaborative projects among healthcare providers and support capital projects. These projects include converting hospital inpatient space to outpatient and ambulatory care and this means that nursing home capacity can be reduced by referring the elderly to other less restrictive forms of long term care.

Schuyler Hospital a 25 bed critical access hospitals located in Montour Falls in the state’s Southern Tier is one example of how the HEAL NY grant monies will be used. The hospital plans to use the funds to modernize their technology, equipment, and facilities particularly in the areas of radiology, rehabilitation services, operating rooms, and improve the information technology infrastructure in use by physician offices.