Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced $34.8 million in grants to five hospitals and nursing homes in Western New York, continuing efforts to transform the state's health care system to improve patient care, reduce costs, and ensure that all New Yorkers have access to quality treatment.
That total includes a $1,782,842 grant for the Lake Erie Regional Health Systems, which is made up of Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and TLC Health Network in Silver Creek.
The grants are made available through New York State's Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL NY). Statewide, the $301.1 million in HEAL NY grants will help 40 hospitals and nursing homes across the state improve primary and community-based care, eliminate excess bed capacity, and reduce over-reliance on inpatient care in hospitals and nursing homes.
"As a result of the hard work of the Medicaid Redesign Team and our actions to transform the state's health care system, we have already taken important steps toward reducing costs and improving care for patients," Governor Cuomo said. "These grants to hospitals and nursing homes in Western New York will help our health care facilities deliver better quality care in a more efficient and cost effective manner so all New Yorkers have access to the best care possible when it is needed."
The awards are allocated through the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) and are part of nearly $3 billion in funding that has been invested in health care reform through 20 separate HEAL NY phases over the past seven years.
The grants announced will help implement recommendations from Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team, including enabling health care facilities to deliver more efficient, higher quality care through restructuring, merging, and realigning operations.
Additionally, the awards will help develop collaborative projects among health care providers and will support capital projects, such as the conversion of hospital inpatient space to outpatient and ambulatory care and inpatient nursing home capacity to other less-restrictive forms of long-term care.
DOH received a diverse group of applications from throughout the state. Additional funding will be made available in future rounds to support additional projects including efforts to help develop a high-quality, financially secure and sustainable health system in Brooklyn.
State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M. D., M.P.H., said, "I commend these hospitals and nursing homes for their resourcefulness and effectiveness in reconfiguring their beds and services to achieve greater efficiency and to deliver care most appropriate to address the identified needs in their communities. These projects represent prime examples of how institutions - large and small alike - can leverage the opportunities presented by a health care system that is moving toward greater integration of services and new models of patient-centered care."
DASNY President Paul T. Williams, Jr. said, "DASNY is committed to working with Governor Cuomo, the Department of Health, and our health care partners across the State to provide the best possible outcome for New Yorkers. These grants will support improvements and collaborations that will strengthen services and deliver care that will benefit our communities."
State Sen. Catharine Young applauded the move. "Access to rural health care is essential, and these HEAL NY grants will strengthen our hospitals and enhance patient care. Our region needs and deserves to have high quality services, and it is heartening that the Governor is leading efforts to protect health care in every corner of the state," she said.
Along with the Lake Erie Regional Health System receiving a grant for $1,782,842, other Western New York Hospitals receiving the HEAL NY awards include:
Erie County Medical Center Corporation $15,000,000
M.M. Ewing Contin-uing Care Center $15,000,000
The Memorial Hos-pital of William F. & Gertrude F. Jones, Inc. $1,067,258
Niagara Falls Memor-ial Medical Center $1,979,626.