Five health organizations in our region will be getting grants totaling about $7.89 million from the state to serve elderly, “fragile,” and low-income populations. According to a press release, the following organizations will be receiving grants from New York:
Blue Line Group, an affiliation of long-term care facilities within the blue line of the Adirondack Park, will receive $3,500,000. Those facilities are owned by Adirondack Health, Adirondack Tri-County, and Interlakes Health.
Clifton-Fine Hospital in Star Lake will receive $1,225,000;
EJ Noble/Canton-Potsdam Hospitals will receive $2,000,000;
Jefferson County Public Health Service in Watertown will receive $382,862;
and Lewis County Hospital in Lowville will receive $788,798.
The money comes as part of the state’s Vital Access/Safety Net Provider Program (VAP), and the 37 organizations statewide that are receiving funding not only because they serve vulnerable populations but also “due to their serious financial condition.” Here’s more from the press release on how the funds will be used:
These funds will be used primarily to improve community care and to achieve defined financial, operational, and quality improvement goals related to integration or reconfiguration of services offered by the facility. Specific examples include:
-expand access to ambulatory services through additional needed services or added hours of operations
-open urgent care centers to help reduce use of emergency rooms
-improve quality through reduced adverse events thus also reducing overall costs
-expand services in rural areas through additional primary and specialty care services
-establish care coordination between providers and levels of health care service delivery
-provide more effective services that meet the needs of the community
Interestingly, the state made this announcement yesterday, as the Associated Press also reported that the state had established a commission to improve health care in our region. The North Country Health Systems Redesign Commission is tasked with assessing the “current scope of care and needs in the region, where health officials say there is a shortage of physicians and other primary care practitioners, as well as fragmented, widely dispersed services.”