Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Assessment of the Financial Viability of New York State Health Centers

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

May 23, 2008







By 2008, major efforts were underway in New York State to reform its health care system—reforms that required the availability of adequate primary care capacity to succeed.

At the same time, the primary care sector was exhibiting increasing financial weakness that threatened the very capacity the broader system is increasingly relying on. The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) collaborated with the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) to investigate the financial status of the primary care sector in New York and identify practical, useful options that the Foundation and policymakers could consider in order to protect and strengthen the State’s primary care resources.

Primary care services in New York and across the country are reaching a crisis point as fewer doctors are practicing these general services and rising medical costs are making primary care centers untenable.  In order for New York State to reform and improve its health care system, it is imperative that the issues facing the primary care system be better understood and addressed. Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) specializes in assisting primary care centers and turning them into economically viable organizations.  PCDC plans to conduct a rigorous survey of the State’s health centers to obtain a clearer understanding of the needs and impacts affecting their financial stability.

The Assessment of the Financial Viability of New York State Health Centers will provide a clear and comprehensive analysis of the financial vulnerability of the State’s primary care health centers. In addition to identifying the critical obstacles and issues affecting the health centers, the Assessment will outline specific recommendations for leaders and policy makers to preserve and enhance the State’s primary care resources.

In the current failing primary care system, fewer people—especially in poor and rural areas¬—have the option of turning to primary care for preventable illnesses.  Instead, patients are relying on emergency rooms as a failsafe for their illnesses, which leads to overwhelmed emergency rooms, poor health care, and higher costs for patients and the State. The Assessment will look at this trend in health care through a comprehensive survey of community health centers’ financial viability, as well as a case study on the Institute for Family Health and the Mid-Hudson Family Health Institute merger.  From the information gathered in the survey and studies, a core set of policy recommendations will be made to help secure and solidify the foundation of the primary care system in New York.