HOPE FOR TOMORROW

St. Catherine's signs Community Health Initiative Agreement with Better Health for Northeast New York

St. Catherine's signs Community Health Initiative Agreement with Better Health for Northeast New York

St. Catherine’s Center for Children has entered into a Community Health Initiative Agreement with Better Health for Northeast New York (BHNNY), an affiliate of Albany Medical Center. Under the terms of the agreement, which covers a 12-month period, St. Catherine’s will provide services for Medicaid recipients and uninsured individuals in a three-county area in the Capital Region.

“We are incredibly pleased to enter into this Community Health Initiative Agreement with Better Health for Northeast New York,” said St. Catherine’s executive director Frank Pindiak. “This agreement creates a collaborative relationship between St. Catherine’s and BHNNY, giving us the ability to serve vulnerable populations by working to reduce avoidable emergency department admissions and hospital re-admissions.”

St. Catherine’s agreement with BHNNY falls under a state effort—New York State’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP)—to identify vulnerable populations and deliver health care services in new ways, creating equitable access to care, improved health outcomes, and lower overall cost of care.

St. Catherine’s is contracting with BHNNY to work with targeted populations by focusing on three areas essential to consumer health: 1) ensuring consumers have sufficient health insurance (i.e. Medicaid); 2) ensuring consumers have a primary care physician, and; 3) ensuring consumers have access to prescribed medications.

“This initiative with BHNNY represents our first value-based contract, where payment is based on achieved outcomes for the people we serve,” said Pindiak. “Part of our effort will include looking at something called Social Determinants of Health—factors such as social support systems, transportation, and employment opportunities—which impact health far more than direct health care alone. We will review the impact of those determinants with every individual we serve through this initiative.”

Meg Wallingford, Chief Operating Officer for BHNNY, says, “Partners like St. Catherine’s, who are already so well-known in the region for their commitment to our vulnerable communities, are exactly who we need to reach the individuals our mission aims to serve.  Together, we are working to remove the barriers many Medicaid consumers face when trying to access care in the community and to support their basic needs, those Social Determinants of Health, so individuals can better engage in achieving and maintaining better health.”

BHNNY CEO Louis Filhour, PhD, RN added, “Beyond supporting population health and the transition value-based payment arrangements, this type of program helps those in our communities lead healthier lives.  DSRIP and the work our partners like St. Catherine’s are doing, have the power to improve the lives of individuals, which benefits the entire community.”