FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2012
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES LIFESPAN IS RECEIVING UP TO $3.2 MILLION TO LAUNCH NEW PROGRAM THIS WEEK TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE FOR ROCHESTER SENIORS AFTER THEY LEAVE THE HOSPITAL – PUSHES FOR ADDITIONAL FED FUNDING TO REVOLUTIONIZE PRIMARY CARE DELIVERY FOR ROCHESTER RESIDENTS
Given CMS’ Faith in Rochester’s Blossoming Health Care Quality, Schumer Calls on CMS to Build on This Investment and Award $30 Million Federal Investment For Groundbreaking Rochester Innovative Health Collaborative– Decision for CMS Funding Set to Be Announced in June
In Light of Lifespan’s New Program Starting This Week to Improve Health Care and Reduce Costs for Rochester Seniors, Schumer Makes Case for Similar Work at Rochester Health Collaborative to Expand In-Home Medical Care, Revamp Community Outpatient Care, And Boost Community Health Workers Throughout Rochester and Six-County Region
Schumer: Lifespan Program Demonstrates Rochester Is On The Cutting Edge For Health Care & Deserves These CMS Funds
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Lifespan, working in concert with the regional hospital systems in Rochester, has been awarded a grant for up to $1.6 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for each of the next two years to launch a new program this week to improve health care quality and reduce costs for Rochester seniors. Lifespan’s goals are to reduce hospital readmissions for high-risk beneficiaries, improve transitions of beneficiaries from the in-patient settings to home or other community based settings, maintain or improve quality of care, and produce savings for the Medicare program. Schumer applauded this important CMS investment in Lifespan, and pushed CMS to build on this effort and award $30 million this month to the Rochester Innovation Health Collaborative (RIHC), a coalition of Rochester health care providers, insurance companies and businesses that are working to revolutionize primary care delivery for all Rochester-Finger Lakes residents.
Similar to Lifespan’s initiative, which has partnered with four acute care hospitals, two health agencies and two additional community based organizations to provide transition services to high-risk fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, the RHIC is seeking the funds to improve primary care services for area residents in order to minimize emergency room visits and save our health system money. In March, Schumer wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius to urge HHS to approve RHIC’s $30 million grant application, particularly based on CMS’ faith in Rochester’s blossoming health care industry, as demonstrated through their investment in Lifespan.
“Lifespan’s mission to join with our hospitals to improve health care and reduce costs for Rochester seniors is a critical one, and further demonstrates that Rochester is leading the charge in developing high-quality health care, while reducing waste,” said Schumer. “I am thrilled to announce that Lifespan will launch its forward-thinking program for senior citizens this week funded in part through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Given CMS clear faith in Rochester’s innovative health care system, I am in turn urging CMS to invest further by awarding a $30 million award to the groundbreaking Rochester Innovation Health Collaborative. RIHC would use this investment to complement Lifespan’s program by expanding in-home medical care, revamping community outpatient care and boosting community health workers for patients of all ages in Rochester. The Rochester Innovation Health Collaborative, a one-of-a-kind coalition of the area’s cutting-edge health care community, has a plan that will revolutionize primary care delivery and I will continue to fight for them to receive this significant federal investment to implement their innovative and cost-effective health care plan.”
“We are particularly excited that this contact will give us the tools to help older adults more successfully transition from a hospital care setting to their homes,” said Ann Marie Cook, President/CEO of Lifespan said. “This should result in fewer unnecessary readmissions within 30 days of discharge. And ultimately, new partnerships will help breakdown the siloes of care that exist between health care systems and community agencies like Lifespan that operate on the other side of the medical door.”
Schumer announced today that Lifespan is the recipient of up to $1.6 million for each of the next two years through the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP) created by Section 3026 of the Affordable Care Act. The CCTP tests models for improving care transitions from the hospital to other settings and reducing readmissions for high-risk fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. As a testament to Rochester’s uniquely innovative health care community, Lifespan was one of only 30 organizations nation-wide to receive this award. Community-based organizations, like Lifespan, will use care transition services to effectively manage fee-for-service Medicare patients' transitions and improve their quality of care. This week, Lifespan will begin partnering with four acute care hospitals; Rochester General, Unity, Strong Memorial, and Highland Hospitals; two home health agencies; two additional CBOs; and the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency to provide these transition services to eligible seniors across four counties in Western New York State. Lifespan’s award is up to $1.6 million per year for two years. Lifespan may be able to apply for an additional three years.
In light of CMS’ investment in Lifespan, Schumer made the case for similar work to occur via the Rochester Innovation Health Collaborative to expand in-home medical care, revamp community outpatient care and boost community health workers throughout Rochester. He noted that RHIC’s proposal would perfectly complement and expand the work that is set to occur at Lifespan this week for senior citizens. This month, CMS is set to announce recipients of $1 billion in grants with a maximum award of $30 million. With such an investment, RHIC would improve Primary Care and extract real savings from the current system while improving care for patients, by reducing emergency room visits and other methods. The funding would be used to create new care manager jobs that will work in doctor’s offices and create the Medical Home to cut down on ER admissions. A “medical home” means physicians, the hospital and home care coordinating to make sure services are coordinated for the patient. Schumer noted that this is very important for patients with complex chronic diseases like diabetes or heart failure. The aim of this initiative is to both improve patient care and realize savings by caring for patients especially after they have left the doctor’s office. RHIC members include of more than 30 leaders representing area hospitals, employers, health insurers, physicians, nurses, philanthropic foundations, community agencies and advocacy groups, faith-based organizations, higher education and government.
Lifespan is a non-profit organization located in Rochester NY that helps older adults take on both the challenges and opportunities of longer life. The agency provides more than 30 services ranging from care management for eldercare to employment assistance.