- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced an award of $664 million in funding to One Brooklyn Health to help develop a 32-site ambulatory care network, modernize three hospital facilities and create a platform to enable the development of a single EHR.
- One Brooklyn Health, a partnership between Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, will be given the funding as part of the $1.4 billion "Vital Brooklyn" plan Cuomo announced last year.
- "This holistic investment creates a sustainable, unified health care system to empower historically underserved communities, support health and wellness and ensure a brighter future for the people of Brooklyn," Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement.
The investment seeks to improve access to care in central Brooklyn, where chronic disparities in healthcare have contributed to systemic poverty.
Specifically, the geographic area has seen "measurably higher rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, limited access to healthy foods or opportunities for physical activity, high rates of violence and crime, wide economic disparities due to unemployment, and high poverty levels, and inadequate access to high quality health care and mental health services," according to a press release.
The project reflects a growing sense among hospitals that merging services, sometimes with other organizations, can save costs without a hit to quality of care. M&A activity in the industry has ramped up as a result.
In just the past few months, Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health announced a merger, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health wrapped up a deal and Kindred Healthcare said it will be acquired by Humana and two private equity firms. On Thursday, Care New England and Partners Healthcare agreed to enter into a definitive agreement to merge.
Health systems are preparing for a future where more care is done in an outpatient setting or at home. This leaves them to focus on intensive and emergency care and to look toward community partnerships that address social determinants of health.
The New York project funding includes $210 million to help develop the 32-site ambulatory care network. The network, which includes partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers Bed Stuy Family Health Center, ODA Crown Heights, Brightpoint Health and the Brownsville Multi-Service Center, is expected to add 500,000 ambulatory care visits per year. The effort will create 255 new jobs and help recruit 300 primary care physicians to the area.
Also, $384 million will be allotted to clinical and facility infrastructure improvements. Brookdale will receive a new emergency department, expand its community health center to include a new 30-bed intensive care unit and add patient care units. Interfaith is set to expand its emergency development. Kingsbrook Jewish will become a "medical village" that includes new affordable housing and community space.
Finally, $70 million will be used to create a community-wide health information technology system so a single EHR can be developed across the three hospitals and primary care network. Another $36 million is being held for future program awards.
In December 2016, health insurer Oscar in a partnership with Mount Sinai Health System, opened a full-service primary care clinic in Brooklyn.