Primary Care

Grantee Name

United Hospital Fund of New York

Funding Area

Primary Care

Publication Date

May 2017

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

March 2014 – February 2015

New York State’s health care spending overall and per capita are among the highest in the nation. Coupled with suboptimal levels of access, quality, and patient experience, the rate of cost escalation is unsupportable.

The need to improve performance and control costs was heightened by the increase in demand for care after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In response, the State designated advanced primary care as a key priority. It undertook a major campaign among providers, focusing on improving primary care practice and integrating the management of patient care across types of providers, including primary care, hospital care, specialty medicine, long-term care, and mental health and substance use services.

In 2014, NYHealth awarded the United Hospital Fund of New York (UHF) a grant to provide analytical support for the range of efforts to improve primary care by health care providers and the State. Specifically, UHF examined three areas of promising innovation in health care: new models in primary care, development of accountable care organizations (ACOs), and new approaches to consumer engagement in health care.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Interviewed relevant stakeholders for each innovation area, including leaders of ACOs in New York State; consumers; and health plan, government, academic, and business officials;
  • Produced a series of reports that describe and analyze changes occurring in primary care and accountable care in New York State and in the commercial insurance market:
  • Accountable Care in New York State: Emerging Themes and Issues,” which summarizes the early experiences of New York State’s 16 earliest ACOs in their first year.
  • New York’s Medicare ACOs: Participants and Performance,” which looks at the performance and quality measures of ACOs across New York State.
  • Convenient Care: Retail Clinics and Urgent Care Centers in New York State,” which outlines five policy options that the State could consider to establish basic consumer and public health protections, such as developing standards for urgent care centers and encouraging greater access for underserved areas and populations.
  • Meeting Consumers Where They Are: Patient Engagement in New York’s Evolving Commercial Insurance Market,” which examines effective patient engagement strategies in the commercial insurance market and offers ideas for improving patient engagement in the State;
  • Presented findings of the reports at roundtables, grand rounds, and conferences; and
  • Garnered press coverage of the reports through articles in Crain’s, Albany Business Review, and Capital New York, as well as a radio segment on WNYC.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: N/A