New York gives health IT $109M boost

By Bernie Monegain
09:41 AM

Eleven healthcare organizations in New York State will receive a total $109 million in state grants to improve the coordination of healthcare through the use of health information technology.

The funding comes from the New York State Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York through Phase 17 of the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York (HEAL NY) and the Federal State Health Reform Partnership, which support efforts that improve the efficiency and affordability of New York's healthcare system.

The grants will support projects that continue to build health information technology infrastructure in New York State that improves coordination of healthcare for patients with complex health problems, with a focus on improving the delivery and coordination of mental health, long-term care and home care, according to state officials.

"Chronic illness experienced by individuals with complex health problems impacts the health and productivity of New Yorkers and drives up healthcare costs," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, MD. "A greater focus on prevention and coordination of care, enhanced by health information technology, will improve health and reduce costs over time."

Michael F. Hogan, commissioner of the State Office of Mental Health, said, "We appreciate the support in these awards for programs that will include mental health in health information projects. There is no good health without good mental health, and these projects will improve care for the mind as well as the body."

Dormitory Authority President Paul T. Williams said, "DASNY has a longstanding working partnership with healthcare institutions in New York State as both a public financing and public construction authority. We are proud to continue that service by helping healthcare providers continue to build an infrastructure of health information technology to better serve patients across the state."

The grants will advance the patient-centered medical home model of care, which provides the ability to share medical information across all types of providers involved in the care of a single patient to improve the patient's coordination of care. 
The ability of different providers in different settings to share clinical information in the treatment of patients with complex conditions requires the implementation of interoperable electronic medical records. 
By connecting to the Statewide Health Information Network for NY (SHIN-NY) healthcare providers can retrieve, store and share up-to-date patient information regardless of where care is delivered. SHIN-NY is an Internet-based communications system that ensures the privacy and security of information shared among healthcare providers.