Regional Health Care Update

Today we went to Queensbury to meet with the Adirondack Health Institute (AHI), which is a joint venture of Hudson Headwaters Health Network (HHHN), CVPH and Adirondack Health (the former Adirondack Medical Center).  This is the go-to group for regional health care in our area.  Their main claim to fame is the Adirondack Medical Home pilot, which is one of first underway in the nation.   It provides incentives to primary care providers to strengthen their role in prevention and care coordination to improve quality and contain costs.

We had many take-aways from our discussions this morning.  The direction is toward more regional planning, assessment and implementation of new programs. Our area is ahead in implementing innovative approaches to rural health care delivery.   AHI is working to integrate other social and mental health services into the Medical Home approach. But the Medical Home pilot ends in 2014. What happens then? AHI invited us to attend the Adirondack Medical Home Summit in Lake Placid next week and Jim will go.

Some potential good news on the horizon is New York State’s request to the Federal Government for many billions of dollars to invest in health care innovations and make the State a model of health care reform.  If even a small piece of that money can come our way, we need to have some really good new ideas to put on the table.

Another piece of good news was HHHN’s planned major expansion of their Warrensburg Health Center, which is the hub of their Adirondack Network.  Work is scheduled to begin next spring.

One service that could benefit from a more regional approach is the Home Health Agencies that are currently at the county level.  We also discussed the ACTION broadband network being built now across the Park. This network is just becoming operational and reimbursement policies that include payment for remote consultations are just now being ironed out.  The co-leaders of the project are SUNY Plattsburgh and the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization.  It is being built and run by DANC.

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