New York hospitals collaborate to redesign healthcare delivery, reduce readmissions

A new consortium of 200 hospitals, nursing homes and other health-related entities throughout the Rochester, New York, region aims to redesign healthcare delivery and reduce avoidable readmissions.

The Finger Lakes Performing Provider System is led by the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester General Health System and Unity Health System. The group intends to reduce avoidable hospital admissions by 25 percent over the next five years by keeping the region's 320,000 Medicaid recipients healthier, according to an announcement for the program.

To advance their efforts, the consortium applied for funds from New York's Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program, which has received an $8 billion waiver from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to fund efforts across New York to improve quality and drive down costs.

Hospital leaders say the more the community embraces collaborative approaches, the less likely Medicaid patients will use costly services, such as emergency rooms (ERs).

"Think of the medical homes model, for example," Steve Goldstein, president and CEO of Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals, told the Democrat & Chronicle. "The more services we can bring people within the medical homes model, the less will be the need for the ER."

In addition to creating medial homes for Medicaid patients, the consortium said potential projects include:

  • Immediate interventions via a triage system when Medicaid patients visit the emergency department because they don't have a primary care provider. The system would assign those patients a primary care provider.

  • Establishment of behavioral health and primary care services in the same locations to simplify referrals.

  • Transportation options so patients don't miss routine medical appointments, exacerbating conditions such as diabetes or asthma, resulting in hospitalization.

  • Expanding transitional housing and care options, so patients discharged from a hospital can receive proper care and avoid readmission.

"Rethinking the way we deliver services through the Medicaid program is an essential step toward bending the cost curve of healthcare," Goldstein said.  "In New York, like in other states, our challenge is to implement strategies that achieve lower costs by keeping people healthier and avoiding hospitalizations."

To learn more:
- here's the announcement
- read the Democrat & Chronicle article