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Niagara Falls Memorial receives OK to pursue Niagara-Orleans health care coalition

by jmaloni

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Fri, Jun 13th 2014 08:30 pm

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has received state approval to form a two-county coalition to help reform the state's Medicaid system.

The effort was prompted by the federal government's recent approval of a groundbreaking Medicaid waiver that will bring $8 billion in new federal health care dollars to New York state over the next five years. The state plan, known as the delivery system reform incentive payment program, will result in the transformation of the state's health care system and ensure access to quality care for all Medicaid members.

Memorial Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sheila K. Kee said the state Health Department will be selecting coalitions of health care providers in a competitive process to determine who will administer DSRIP in regions across the state.

The DSRIP program will promote community-level collaborations and focus on system reform, specifically a goal to achieve a 25-percent reduction in avoidable hospital readmissions over five years. Safety net providers will be required to collaborate to implement innovative projects focusing on system transformation, clinical improvement and population health improvement.

"I am pleased to announce that, in its first round of decision-making, the New York State Department of Health approved our letter of intent to form a Niagara-Orleans organization," Kee said. "We are now asking other health care organizations to join the Niagara-Orleans DSRIP coalition. Agencies and organizations that do so can be sure they will play a significant role in New York state's health care delivery system reform."

More than 100 providers have already confirmed their intent to participate. Included in that group are the both the Niagara County Health Department and Orleans County Health Department, Eastern Niagara Health System, Medina Memorial Hospital, DeGraff Memorial Hospital, Niagara Hospice and Hospice of Orleans Inc.

Kee noted Niagara and Orleans counties have a long history of working together through such organizations as Orleans-Niagara BOCES, the NIOGA Library System and the Niagara-Orleans Regional Alliance.

"By working together as a united DSRIP coalition, we can maximize our counties' receipt of federal funding by reducing the cost of health care while delivering better health care," Kee said.

To learn more about the Niagara-Orleans DSRIP Coalition, contact Kee at 716-278-4301.

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