New York governor devotes $664M to a new Brooklyn health system with funding for an integrated EHR

New York has set aside $664 million to create a new unified health system in Brooklyn with $70 million reserved for an enterprise technology platform.

Through a partnership with three existing providers—Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center—the state plans to build a 32-site ambulatory care network in one of the most vulnerable areas in the state, according to an announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The state estimates the new network, called One Brooklyn Health, will add as much as 500,000 new ambulatory visits each year. An additional $320 million has been reserved for annual operating support.

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"For far too long, chronic disparities in health care have contributed to systemic poverty in Central Brooklyn, and Vital Brooklyn is a national model for tackling those challenges and addressing every facet of community wellness," Cuomo said in the announcement, which cited higher rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure coupled with a lack of access to quality care. “This holistic investment creates a sustainable, unified health care system to empower historically underserved communities, support health and wellness and ensure a brighter future for the people of Brooklyn.”

The biggest chunk of funding—$384 million—will go toward critical infrastructure improvements to the three partnering hospitals, including a new ICU and a renovated ED. More than $200 million in state funding will go toward building a network that includes partnerships with existing community providers and plans to build new affordable housing developments around three One Brooklyn Health hospitals.

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Meanwhile, the state has reserved $70 million to create an “enterprise-wide health information technology platform” that will create a single medical records system across the three partnering hospitals and the provider care network. The platform will also enable uniform measurement of medical and social determinants.

New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D., praised the governor’s “aggressive vision,” adding that the new system puts the state “one step closer to creating a health care delivery system that will serve as a model for access and sustainability.”