Over the last few weeks, we have made significant headway in negotiations with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding outstanding Upper Payment Limit funding owed to our system. We have received a commitment to expedite advances on calendar year 2015 and 2016 payments totaling approximately $475 million dollars. I want to take this opportunity to thank our friends at CMS regional and Washington offices, and our colleagues at the State Department of Health.
As you entered the hallway outside the Boardroom today, I’m sure you noticed the beautiful works of art gracing the walls. They are part of an exhibit called Ruth’s Dream that is currently on view at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. The gifted artist, Ruth Litoff, had many experiences in psychiatric facilities in New York City before she took her own life eight years ago. Ruth’s Dream, curated by her sister Hope Litoff who is here today, reflects the artist’s wish – her dream – that her art could someday be displayed at Bellevue, where she felt she had received the most compassionate, understanding, and respectful care.
Through Hope Litoff’s generosity, this extraordinary series has been donated to The Fund for NYC Health + Hospitals. It will be on display at several facilities for the next few months before returning to Bellevue.
Please join me in thanking Ms. Litoff, and in saluting William Hicks and Bellevue’s world-class psychiatric services and operations staff.
Thank you as well to The Fund for NYC Health + Hospitals for helping to create this important statement about the quality of care we provide.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi has been designated by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level I Trauma Center. ACS verification confirms that the medical center is equipped with the necessary resources to deliver the highest level of care to patients with the most serious injuries. This reaffirms that Jacobi provides trauma services that are second to none, to residents of the Bronx and Lower Westchester County. We congratulate Executive Director William T. Foley, Trauma Medical Director Dr. Sheldon Teperman and the entire team at Jacobi for working tirelessly and on a daily basis to save lives.
In July MetroPlus Health Plan announced a public awareness campaign recognizing the plan’s 500,000th member, Staten Island resident, Josephine Barroso, and furthering its effort to connect New Yorkers in all five boroughs with the care they need. MetroPlus has seen enrollment climb as it continues to consolidate its position as a leader in providing affordable health insurance.
Dr. Arnold Saperstein, President and CEO of the health plan, presented Ms. Barroso with her member ID card at a special ceremony to mark the occasion. She is a single mother who sought more affordable health care. When she discovered that MetroPlus had become available on Staten Island, she decided to explore this new option and ultimately enrolled as the “half-million member” of MetroPlus.
Traditionally offering coverage in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, MetroPlus added Staten Island to its service area this year for its Marketplace and Essential Plans. The MetroPlus Essential Health Plan offers access to an extensive network of participating physicians, with providers in over 30,000 sites across the City, including more than 12,000 primary care physicians, specialists, affiliates of NYC Health + Hospitals and community-based providers.
NYC Health + Hospitals continues its commitment to addressing social determinants of health in New York City by increasing access to fresh and affordable produce. Through its partnerships with Harvest Home Farmer’s Market and GrowNYC the health system is hosting farmer’s markets or fresh food box programs at 12 patient care locations across NYC to make fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible for New Yorkers. NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue will partner with GrowNYC as part of its Fresh Food Box Program. Every week participants are provided with a selection of the best seasonally available, regionally-grown produce, along with recipes and instructions for proper storage.
Caswell Samms III, Chief Financial Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem and NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln has been recognized on Becker’s Hospital Review’s “50 Healthcare Leaders Under 40” list for 2016. This annual honor by Becker’s Hospital Review recognizes administrative leaders who have made considerable accomplishments in their relatively short careers. Mr. Samms began his tenure at NYC Health + Hospitals in 2014. In addition to his role as CFO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem and NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, he oversees the finances of three community health centers, NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis; NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania; and NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham. We congratulate Mr. Samms on this well-deserved recognition.
Dr. Emmanuel Nwokedi, MD, Chief of Radiology Oncology and Chairman of the Cancer Committee at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County was honored by the American Cancer Society with its inaugural “Leader in Cancer Care Award.” The Award is an acknowledgement of outstanding work and commitment to excellence in cancer care by the American Cancer Society. Dr. Nwokedi is recognized by the American Cancer Society as an advocate for screening, prevention, and early detection, especially for the underserved and uninsured.
Under Dr. Nwokedi’s leadership, the Radiology Oncology program provides radiation treatment to approximately 600 patients annually and follow-up care to more than 2,800 patients annually as part of the Kings County Cancer Survivorship program. Last year Kings County acquired a new Linear Accelerator (“Linac”) to improve access and targeted care for patients with cancer.
In August we were tremendously proud when for the third year in a row, our Accountable Care Organization ranked among the country’s top tier, high performing ACOs. We earned the greatest quality improvement ranking in New York – more than double that of the other 29 ACOs serving the state. And CMS’s data shows that we were also #1 in achieving cost reductions.
This is remarkable success.
It demonstrates that despite all the challenges we face, our physicians, nurses, technicians and assistants are forging new and innovative approaches that offer the right care to the right patients in the right settings. And they’re doing it while generating more than $27 million in savings over the last three years.
Which is why September’s person of the month is Dr. Nicholas Stine, Chief Medical Officer of our ACO. Nick, along with Dr. Ross Wilson, Megan Cunningham, Dr. Lana Vardanian at Coney Island, and a dynamic team of facility-based ACO Medical Directors all are demonstrating that a large public health care system can care for the highest risk patients with the steepest socio-economic obstacles, and nonetheless meet top quality and cost standards of performance —all while incentivizing providers and generating savings. That’s the Holy Grail for health care systems across the country today, and Nick and his team are helping us achieve it here in New York.
Our ACO is one piece of a larger puzzle, however.
As the largest DSRIP Performing Provider System in New York, OneCity Health is embracing value by building a delivery structure that will incentivize providers to improve quality outcomes, drive patient-centeredness, and transform the system so that we can care for our patients in community-based settings inclusive of medical, behavioral health, long-term care, community-based providers and social service organizations.
Another example of how we’ve been out front in the nationwide shift to value is the full risk agreement we have with MetroPlus, which pays our facilities a percent of premium for each patient in their risk pools, promoting integrated, community-based care by incentivizing our facilities to take responsibility for the whole aspect of member care.
Value based innovations like these, and others across our system, place us at the forefront of national reforms that maximize quality, effectiveness, and efficiency. They offer everyone in this room a reason to be proud of a system we believe in, and are fighting for each and every day. Please join me in offering a round of applause for Dr. Stine and more broadly for all of our value based initiatives.
Throughout life’s journey you encounter a lot of people, and many of them impart on you great gifts…of wisdom…of knowledge…of kindness…of philosophy.
And Lilliam, you’ve offered us all of these things… But in my opinion, at the end of the day, after all the heartfelt things we say about your leadership, the thing that comes to my mind first, is this:
You are a healer. You’re a healer of healthcare systems…of patients…of communities…of smart, committed people sitting around a boardroom table who may disagree about a particular issue.
You’re a healer in all of these settings. For old surgeons like myself, “healer” is the highest compliment we can offer. And Lilliam, no one fits that description, that quality, more completely than do you.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.