New York State Awards $109 Million to Expand Use of Health Information Technology

Focus on Improved Coordination of Health Care

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 10, 2010) – Eleven health care organizations in New York State will receive a total $109 million in State grants to improve the coordination of health care through the use of health information technology.

The funding is being provided by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) through Phase 17 of the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York (HEAL NY) and the Federal State Health Reform Partnership (F-SHRP), which support efforts that improve the efficiency and affordability of New York's health care system.

The grants will support projects that continue to build health information technology infrastructure in New York State that improves coordination of health care for patients with complex health problems, with a focus on improving the delivery and coordination of mental health, long-term care and home care.

"Chronic illness experienced by individuals with complex health problems impacts the health and productivity of New Yorkers and drives up health care costs," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "A greater focus on prevention and coordination of care, enhanced by health information technology, will improve health and reduce costs over time."

Michael F. Hogan, Ph.D., Commissioner of the State Office of Mental Health, said:  "We appreciate the support in these awards for programs that will include mental health in health information projects. There is no good health without good mental health, and these projects will improve care for the mind as well as the body."

DASNY President Paul T. Williams said: "DASNY has a longstanding working partnership with health care institutions in New York State as both a public financing and public construction authority. We are proud to continue that service by helping health care providers continue to build an infrastructure of health information technology to better serve patients across the state."

The grants will advance the Patient-Centered Medical Home model of care, which provides the ability to share medical information across all types of providers involved in the care of a single patient to improve the patient's coordination of care. Communication among providers and coordination of care that occurs as a patient moves among different care settings – such as primary care, medical imaging, and specialty care – has been shown to reduce medical errors and their associated costs and prevent unnecessary and costly duplication of services.

The ability of different providers in different settings to share clinical information in the treatment of patients with complex conditions requires the implementation of interoperable electronic medical records. By connecting to the Statewide Health Information Network for NY (SHIN-NY) health care providers can retrieve, store and share up-to-date patient information regardless of where care is delivered, while ensuring privacy and security of the patient's medical information. SHIN-NY is a specially-designed Internet-based communications system that ensures the privacy and security of information shared among health care providers.

The two-year project awards are:

  • Anthony L. Jordon Health Center serves a low-income population in three zip codes in the northeast quadrant of Rochester and includes 33 primary care providers, 182 mental health providers, and three home care agencies. The project will focus on a patient population with affective disorders. Award: $4.5 million
  • HEALTHeLINK (Western NY Clinical Information Exchange) serves 20,000 patients in the Western region and includes 70 primary care providers, 59 mental health providers, and one community health center. The project will focus on a patient population with affective disorders, including major depression. Award: $3.8 million
  • Long Island Patient Information Exchange serves 20,000 patients in the Long Island region and includes 152 primary care providers, 1,096 mental health providers, and 31 long-term care providers. The project will focus on a patient population with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. Award: $20 million
  • Maimonides Medical Center serves 15,000 patients in 11 zip codes in central and southwest Brooklyn and includes 81 primary care providers, 95 psychiatrists, and 190 other specialists. The project will focus on a patient population with serious and persistent mental illnesses. Award: $9.8 million
  • New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation serves 237,000 patients in Kings, New York and Queens counties and includes 133 primary care providers. The project will focus on a patient population with schizophrenia. Award: $10 million
  • New York City Regional Extension Adoption Center for Health (REACH) serves 285,000 patients in the New York City region and includes 299 primary care providers and 426 mental health providers across four hospital systems and several health centers. The project will focus on a patient population with schizophrenia and depression. Award: $9.9 million
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital serves 470,000 patients in the New York City region and includes 175 primary care providers, 239 mental health providers, and four long-term care providers. The project will focus on a patient population with depression and diabetes or other metabolic disease. Award: $10.8 million
  • St. Barnabas Hospital serves 17,000 patients in the Bronx in association with 64 mental health providers. The project will focus on a patient population with affective disorders, including depression. Award: $3.9 million
  • THINC RHIO Inc. serves 8,500 patients in Ulster, Sullivan, Orange, Dutchess and Westchester counties and includes 120 primary care providers, 36 psychiatrists, and 174 psychologists. The project will focus on a patient population with affective disorders, including depression. Award $8.7 million
  • UB Associates serves over 56,000 patients in Erie and Niagara counties and includes 85 primary care providers, 266 specialists, and 354 Medicaid providers. The project will focus on a patient population with affective disorders and chronic disease diagnoses. Award: $20 million
  • Unity Hospital serves patients in six Unity Medical Group practices in the Western region and includes 57 Medicaid providers, 20 primary care providers, 21 mental health providers, and two community health centers. The project will focus on a patient population with diabetes. Award: $7 million