Hospital, Nursing Home, Community Health Center Applications Sought for $250 Million in Funding for Primary Care, Berger "Look-Alikes"

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 29, 2008) – The state will make $250 million in grant funding available this spring to further the restructuring of New York's health care system to strengthen primary care, eliminate excess bed capacity and reduce overreliance on inpatient care in hospitals and nursing homes.

The announcement came today from the state Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, which jointly administer funding under the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers – HEAL-NY.

HEAL-NY Phase 6

Grant applications will be due April 17 for up to $100 million to fund proposals to strengthen primary care services offered by diagnostic and treatment centers (often called health clinics), including those run by county and municipal health departments. Hospitals may also seek funds to expand primary care in outpatient settings and hospital extension clinics.

Goals for this funding, the sixth round offered under HEAL-NY, are to develop new primary care capacity for underserved populations and to enhance the quality and effectiveness of existing services. Winning applications will focus on patient-centered care, aimed at better primary care (including prevention and health promotion). This improvement of care may be through staffing and services for primary care or through supportive services that affect primary care.

Commissioner Daines said, "The greater efficiency in the health care system called for by the Commission and Governor Spitzer, and supported by HEAL-NY funding, must contribute directly to the delivery of appropriate, high quality care for underserved groups and ultimately for all New Yorkers."

Dormitory Authority Executive Director David D. Brown IV said: "Ensuring that New York's healthcare system delivers effective, affordable, patient-centered services is a major priority. Grant monies from the HEAL-NY program can greatly boost the efforts of healthcare facilities across the state to meet this critical goal."

Examples of costs eligible for funding under this RGA include construction of new facilities; renovation and upgrading of facilities; architectural and design fees; consultant fees and other expenses to prepare Certificate of Need (CON) applications; planning, consulting and legal fees associated with the establishment of new facility operators and the integration of services between existing providers; medical, dental and lab equipment; information systems and technology to support the coordination of care, including interoperable electronic health records systems; staff training and system changes to enable the facility to evaluate its own clinical outcomes and initiate improvements, including costs associated with preparation for recognition by national quality assurance programs (such as the National Committee on Quality Assurance); outreach and enrollment services, translation services, and transportation.

Conferences for potential HEAL-NY Phase 6 applicants will be held in Albany from 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 4 in Meeting Room 3 in the Empire State Plaza, and in New York City from 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 8 in Room 4-PSC at 90 Church St., the state Health Department's New York office.

HEAL-NY Phase 7

Applications will be due April 3 for the second funding cycle announced today, called HEAL-NY Phase 7, which will make up to $150 million available to hospitals, nursing homes, certified home health agencies and hospices. Hospitals and nursing homes that were not subject to the mandates of the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century can seek funding for "look-alike " projects that reduce excess bed capacity in favor of ambulatory and community-based services more appropriate to their areas.

The RGA encourages collaborative projects between facilities, such as shared services agreements, bed consolidations, joint governance arrangements and mergers. Hospitals, nursing homes, certified home health agencies and hospices can seek aid to meet the needs of patients and clients formerly served by institutions that are closing or downsizing under the Berger Commission. For both kinds of projects, HEAL-NY funds will support the costs of restructuring, including construction, renovation and equipment, as well as legal and planning costs for organizational changes necessary for collaboration, consolidation and reconfiguration of services to meet the needs of their communities.

"The Berger Commission recognized that downsizing had to be followed with financial support to the remaining providers – our coverage partners – to help them serve patients and clients in those areas," Commissioner Daines said. "This new funding complements the grants made to facilities subject to Commission mandates."

HEAL-NY Phase 7 is issued both to assist in strengthening providers in the delivery of appropriate care to their current clients and to those in areas affected by Commission mandates and to support the further rightsizing of the health care system. Funds available are intended to:

  • Enable hospitals and nursing homes to enter into shared governance arrangements and other collaborative agreements with other facilities to eliminate excess capacity and achieve greater efficiency in services that respond to identified community needs.
  • Help hospitals and nursing homes add or improve services to meet the needs of patients and clients in areas formerly served by facilities closed or downsized by Commission mandates.
  • Assist certified home health agencies, assisted living programs, assisted living residences, adult homes and enriched housing programs to expand their more- homelike alternatives to inpatient care. This expansion can be in response to identified needs in the community at large or to accommodate clients from areas affected by the Commission mandates.
  • Help hospitals and nursing homes eliminate excess beds in favor of ambulatory and community-oriented services.

Conferences for potential HEAL-NY 7 applicants will be held in Albany from 2-4 p.m. Feb. 4 in Meeting Room 3 in the Empire State Plaza, and in New York City from 2-4 p.m. Feb. 8 in Room 4-PSC at 90 Church St., Manhattan.

HEAL-NY Phases 6 and 7 Applicant Conferences - Restricted Seating

Because of limited seating, attendance will be restricted to one person per organization at the February 8 HEAL NY Phases 6 and 7 applicant conferences at 90 Church Street, Manhattan. If at all possible, applicants are urged to attend the Albany sessions on February 4, where a larger meeting facility and ample seating will be available.