By Kelly Mena, KCP
Interfaith Medical Center will join Central Brooklyn’s Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center into a single health care system.
The move, which was discussed last week at an Interfaith emergency meeting, is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed plan to help save the ailing Brooklyn health care system by cutting costs and increasing revenue.
The consolidation comes following a Northwell Health Ventures study that found these hospitals are projected to cost the state a combined $1.7 billion dollars through the year 2021.
“Recognizing that there is a lack of access to physicians and primary care services throughout the community, these parts of the community were described as health care deserts,” said Northwell Executive Vice President Jeff Kraut. “Not only could you not find a physician, but sometimes there couldn’t be pharmacies or other access to services here. The needs for the hospitals is not only to provide good clinical care, but for all of them to remain as a community hospital that were founded on meeting the social needs of a community.”
The study results were released late last year and proposed specific recommendations for restructuring and consolidating the hospitals into one health care network. The recommendations include: establish an independent, unified, mirror-board governance structure over all the hospitals; appoint system-wide management and clinical leadership, and develop a shared services infrastructure; develop a large, geographically dispersed ambulatory care network, regionalize clinical programs and restructure inpatient services among the hospital campuses; create a safe environment in which to provide care, create an enterprise-wide information technology platform and develop a managed care contracting entity.
The ambulatory care network is a significant component in the plan which will add 36 primary and ambulatory care units in order to decrease the amount of unnecessary emergency room visits, according to the Daily News.
The state set out funds back in 2015 in the form of $700 million as part of the Kings County Health Care Facility Transformation Program “to help transform the delivery and health care services as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition or other significant corporate restructuring to create a more financially sustainable system of care,” according to the report. Of that $700 million dollars set aside for the transformation, Interfaith is receiving a budget of $160 million.