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  • Helping Nonprofits Navigate Medicaid Redesign By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Special Projects Fund Date: August 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Lawyers Alliance for New York

    Quality and cost-efficiency is a primary focus of New York State’s health care delivery system. Under Medicaid Redesign, the State introduced the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program in 2015 as a tool to reduce hospitalization rates while improving care quality for Medicaid beneficiaries. DSRIP involves all levels of the health care delivery system, including nonprofit health providers and other community-based organizations. Although redesign efforts have made significant improvements to the State’s health care delivery system, rapid changes left many smaller providers struggling to navigate and adjust to the new legal landscape. In addition, these resource-constrained providers were subjected to shifts in funding, generating ambiguity and concern for the future. In 2016, with co-funding from the New York Community Trust, NYSHealth awarded a grant to Lawyers Alliance for New York to provide legal support to health and human service nonprofit organizations navigating Medicaid Redesign and other health care reform efforts.

  • Exploring Best Practices for Alternative Payment Methods By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: July 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Healthcare Educational and Research Fund (on behalf of the Healthcare Association of New York State)

    Despite federal and State efforts to incorporate payment reform—including value-based reimbursement models—into the health care system, adoption has been slow. The majority of payments in the commercial and Medicaid markets are still made on a fee-for-service basis, and alternative methods, such as bundled or capitated payments, are underused. Well-resourced health care providers are often better placed to transition to new payment mechanisms, whereas smaller institutions may lack the expertise and capacity to take the first steps. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded a grant to the Healthcare Educational and Research Fund, on behalf of the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), to host an all-day symposium for health care providers and other stakeholders to learn more about new payment models that support meaningful health care redesign.

  • Gauging Payment Reform in New York State By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: July 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Catalyst for Payment Reform, Inc.

    Today’s prevailing fee-for-service payment system can result in unnecessarily high levels of care, tests, and treatments. However, consensus is growing in the health care sector that alternative payment methods can reduce unnecessary health care costs by creating incentives for a lower volume of care. One such example is the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program that New York State has undertaken to shift the majority of Medicaid managed care reimbursements to value-based arrangements. Although providers and payers across the State have experimented with various arrangements to develop a value-oriented health care system, it has not been clear which methods could most effectively replace the traditional fee-for-service model. Additionally, there had been no systematic information available about the current payment landscape to set goals and measure progress. In 2014, NYSHealth awarded a grant to Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) to create the first-ever New York State scorecards for the Medicaid and commercial markets to help provide insight into payment reform in the State.

  • Supporting Knowledge in Health and Health Care Reporting By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Other Date: July 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism

    As the nation’s media outlets face shrinking budgets and shoestring staffing, resources for journalists’ continuing education and professional development are limited. Increasingly, reporters are assigned to multiple beats rather than to one specific issue area, so their knowledge of any one area may be relatively superficial. The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the supporting nonprofit organization for the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), aims to fill that knowledge gap through an annual four-day national conference that attracts approximately 600–800 reporters, editors, and producers, as well as health care luminaries. The conference covered a wide range of issues, both content-focused (e.g., covering the progress under the Affordable Care Act, health care disparities, aging and long-term care) and skills-focused (e.g., understanding how to read medical studies or interpret hospital quality data). In 2016, NYSHealth awarded the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism a grant to support AHCJ’s 2017 cohort of New York State Health Journalism Fellowships.

  • Assessing Impact of an Asthma Intervention for Children By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Special Projects Fund Date: July 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc.

    In the Bronx, the number of children hospitalized for asthma-related reasons is 38% higher than the City average. This disparity is largely associated with indoor allergens from pests, such as mice and cockroaches, which can trigger and exacerbate asthma symptoms. More than 50% of Bronx households report seeing cockroaches and mice in their homes or buildings daily. In contrast, children living in pest-free homes experience fewer asthma-related complications, from school absences to emergency room visits and hospitalizations. The Fund for Public Health New York (FPHNY) designed an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) intervention to address the burden of asthma faced by children in the Bronx. Rather than employing pesticides, IPM eliminates pests by addressing housing conditions conducive to infestation. NYSHealth supported FPHNY, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health and Montefiore Medical Center, to rigorously evaluate its IPM intervention.

  • Expanding Oral Health Services to Children By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Special Projects Fund Date: June 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Albany Medical Center

    Although preventable, cavities are the most common chronic infectious disease of childhood, of which the burden falls disproportionately on underprivileged, minority, or special needs children. Nationally, 25–35% of children in low-income families have never seen a dentist by the age of five. Consequently, dental decay is often treated in emergency departments and ambulatory surgery settings. NYSHealth initially awarded the Albany Medical Center Pediatric Group (Albany Medical Center) a grant to expand the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Smiles program—a pediatric oral health program that provides preventive services to Medicaid-eligible preschool-age children in areas where access to dental services is limited. Albany Medical Center set out to expand the program at WIC sites in upstate New York, where mothers receiving WIC benefits could also bring their young children to the on-site pediatrician for a basic dental cleaning and fluoride varnish—an important tool in cavity prevention.

  • Developing a Communications Plan to Improve Community Health By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Building Healthy Communities Date: June 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, Inc.

    To tackle some of the underlying problems that have affected the health of communities, NYSHealth launched the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund initiative to help New York State communities become healthier and more active places. Through the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, NYSHealth is supporting six communities across the State in their efforts to increase access to healthy, affordable food; improve access to safe places where residents can exercise and be active; and connect children and adults to programs that support healthy behaviors. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative a grant to participate in this initiative. As part of a technical assistance grant to support the Collaborative in its efforts, NYSHealth awarded it a grant in 2016 to work with a communications firm to define its communications priorities and develop a strategic communications plan.

  • Evaluating the Impact of Active Design on Affordable Housing By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Building Healthy Communities Date: June 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Center for Active Design, Inc.

    Active Design is an evidence-based approach that offers practical urban planning and architecture design solutions to support healthy communities. Active Design elements—such as stairs, supportive walking and biking infrastructure, and on-site exercise facilities—can help transform the built environment and improve the physical and mental health outcomes for residents, especially those living in affordable housing. To help integrate cost-effective Active Design strategies into affordable housing, the Active Design Verified initiative was created to train developers on incorporating design elements and amenities that will promote health. In 2016, NYSHealth awarded the Center for Active Design, Inc., (CfAD) a grant to evaluate the impact of Active Design strategies on levels of physical activity among residents moving into Prospect Plaza, a newly constructed affordable housing building with Active Design elements in Brownsville, Brooklyn (an NYSHealth Healthy Neighborhoods Fund site). Specifically, the CfAD sought to gather pre-data and record health measures and physical activity levels before residents moved into the new building to establish a point of comparison for a larger evaluation effort in the future.

  • Building Up Primary Care Providers in the North Country By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: June 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Medical Center

    Health disparities in the rural and remote North Country region of upstate New York are well documented. The region struggles with recruiting primary care physicians, resulting in 40% fewer primary care physicians per capita than the rest of the State. In recent years, significant investments have been made (including by NYSHealth) to improve the way primary care is delivered in the North Country. However, recruiting and retaining primary care physicians remains a challenge. To address this need, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH)—now part of the University of Vermont Health Network—inaugurated the first family medicine residency program/teaching hospital in the region. It is also the lead member of the 12-member EXPLORE consortium, which brings health-related training and learning opportunities to the North Country. To help establish the residency program, NYSHealth awarded CVPH a grant to support the EXPLORE consortium in hosting a one-day training for primary care physicians to serve as preceptors for health profession students.

  • Examining Promising Innovations in Primary Care By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: May 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: United Hospital Fund of New York

    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, NYSHealth 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.

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