Coordination of Care Hits New Heights in Manhattan
As the health care system evolves, one of the key success factors that comes up time and again is the ability for the different entities within the system to collaborate with one another to produce a quality of care that stands out beyond what each individual component can accomplish alone.
In Manhattan, Continuum Health Partners has created a really compelling example of what can be accomplished through successfully creating a continuum of care that works seamlessly. When St. Vincent’s Hospital closed in 2010, Continuum stepped in to fill the void by connecting traditional outpatient clinics and other innovative care outlets including doctors working out of pharmacies and stand-alone urgent care centers. NYU Langone Medical Center is also in the game, expanding practices downtown in an attempt to establish feeder paths into their hospitals.
A new market-share focused game has emerged as these different entities vie for the opportunity to capture the patient base and doctors left in the lurch with St. Vincent’s departure.
No assessment has been done of the specific impact of this emerging model of care within the St. Vincent’s market. However, a study in 2009 that looked at the emerging utilization of retail-based care, like the drugstore clinics, concluded that the quality of care was better than for patients who sought treatment in emergency rooms, while the costs were significantly lower.
A lack of continuity in care is the key concern with a more fragmented care system. Continuum’s affiliation with doctors practicing out of Duane Reed locations across the city addresses some of these concerns. Doctor quality is ensured by credential checks by the hospital system, and patients of the affiliated practices have expedited access to specialists and hospital admissions.
Replacing hospital based care with a network of office and retail-based options is an innovative solution to a potentially costly problem. Without needing to build a new hospital facility, these companies are finding ways to leverage existing resources to deliver better care at lower cost.