Events and associated evidence about healthcare can be found here in the Scenario Framework Navigation Tool.
See our post about regional health care efforts.
Improving health care availability and delivery is a critical part of this strategy. The area cannot grow and attract new residents, businesses or visitors without good healthcare. We need to develop a strategy for healthcare delivery in the Park by bringing together the various providers with State and county agencies and together understand where the gaps are and how to maximize cooperation and effectiveness.
- Hold regional healthcare planning meetings
- Finish deployment of ACTION telemedicine network
Although the ACTION network is a critical first step, it is only a transport system. What is needed next is push ahead on using it to exchange medical records, to do remote consultation, etc. Part of what is needed to make this happen are changes to the way that doctors are reimbursed, so that electronic consultations are reimbursable.
It is important to note that in addition to the traditional medical care, the region is lacking in mental health services and in dental services. A mobile dental van is currently part of the solution to getting dental care to unserved areas. The region has been addressing the problems of attracting new healthcare professionals to the area using programs that include forgiveness of some student loans. WE now need to extend these to other types of health care professionals than primary care physicians.
Nothing in this plan can really prevent the shift to an older population that is forecast. Many of the elements of the plan will create jobs for younger people, allowing some who grew up here to stay and many more to move back. But we can still expect to have difficulty staffing volunteer EMT and fire services. Planning is underway in the northern counties on this issue, examining alternative models such as moving to paid EMT staff during day shifts.
Services for the aging remain a big gap and need to be addressed in future planning, as discussed under Attracting Retirees. We are in the middle of a shift from nursing home care to other forms of community living, some with assisted living capabilities or special units for Alzheimer care. Other efforts include the ADK Care Transitions Program which is a joint effort of Adirondack Medical Center and Hospice, which attempts to help people transition to care outside the hospital so that they don’t end up needing to be readmitted.
The Adirondack Health Institute (AHI) is a partnership of Hudson Headwaters, Adirondack Health and CVPH. It is the group behind many innovative programs and pilots in the region.