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2011 Year in Review

HHC Board of Directors

Late last year, we reported preliminary CIDP findings showing that our care coordination/management efforts reduced the average annual costs of the successfully engaged patients by roughly 20%, saving more than $3.5 million for a cohort of 263 patients.

Once the state marries a shared savings reimbursement approach for underlying healthcare services provided to Health Home enrollees, we will have the beginning of payment reform that takes us toward an accountable care model.

Integrating Medical and Behavioral Health Care for the Mentally Ill

In November, Woodhull Hospital opened its new Center for Integrated Health. A model for facilitating a more holistic approach to addressing the medical and behavioral health needs of patients with mental illness, the new center will coordinate mental and physical health services for psychiatry patients in one setting. This is one of several initiatives under way across our system to assure that we are effectively meeting the general medical needs of our psychiatric patients who often suffer from chronic medical conditions beyond mental illness.

Our work in this area includes a major collaborative initiative, funded with $9 million in funding from New York State, to improve the health status of New Yorkers diagnosed with schizophrenia. In a partnership known as InTouch, five HHC facilities (Elmhurst Hospital Center, Queens Hospital Center, Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center, Cumberland Diagnostic and Treatment Center, Gouverneur Healthcare Services), the Urban Institute of Behavioral Health, the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Bureau of Correctional Health Services have collectively formed an electronic information exchange coalition.

InTouch partners have put in an additional $13 million in matching funds that, along with state support, will provide the technology, equipment, training, and technical assistance necessary to create interconnectivity through the Interboro Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO). The RHIO already supports electronic information exchange of clinical information among a number of New York City healthcare providers. The InTouch partnership will enroll 2,500 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who have received primary care at one of the five HHC hospitals and are residents of a state-designated "care coordination zone" in Queens, North Brooklyn, and Lower Manhattan.

InTouch will allow participating healthcare providers to share medication lists, known allergies, laboratory and test results, as well as care and discharge plans for enrolled patients. The electronic link will also feature "care alerts" that can be sent to case managers and caregivers with real-time information to indicate whether the patients has visited an Emergency Department, been admitted to the hospital, and been discharged.