North Country Health Care Redesign
Special Projects Fund
January 23, 2014
WebsiteSEE GRANT OUTCOMES
The North Country region of New York, which has a population density of 43 people per square mile and lacks public transportation, poses many challenges to policymakers and providers seeking to ensure access to high-quality health services for residents.
The current health system is under stress as a result of rapid changes in organization, delivery models, and payment reform, as well as an aging population, workforce shortages, and shrinking public funding. In addition, the lack of a regionally integrated health care delivery system—with little coordination among providers—is causing destructive competition and threatening the continued existence of many health care facilities. To address these regional challenges, NYHealth awarded Health Research, Inc., a grant to develop a system to improve patient outcomes, provider financial stability, and population health.
Under this grant, Health Research, Inc., established the North Country Health Systems Redesign Commission to engage health care facility stakeholders in a regional planning process on a variety of issues, including how to stabilize essential community providers; integrate systems of care without reducing access to essential community services; expand access to primary care and behavioral health services; reduce workforce shortages; and achieve improved quality of care and better population health. To achieve these goals, the Commission assessed North Country’s total scope of care, the regional population’s health care needs, and the system’s ability to meet those needs. It identified opportunities for mergers and partnerships among providers; strategies for helping essential providers to survive; and the development of appropriate capacity to replace failing providers. The Commission made recommendations for providers and communities on how to improve access, coordination, outcomes, and quality of health care.