Several Queens facilities, including St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside, are spearheading eight of the projects being funded through the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The State has awarded $204 million to 95 projects across New York to support essential health care services in the Empire State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday.
The funding comes from the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program and, according to Cuomo, will improve patient care through the development of high-quality medical facilities and programs serving the inpatient, primary care, mental health, substance use disorder and long-term care needs of communities throughout NY.
The $204 million was spread out over 95 projects located in 10 regions of the state. New York City by far received the most money ($77.7 million) for 37 projects. Queens facilities, including St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside and Trump Pavilion at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, are spearheading eight of those projects.
The Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program was enacted as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. In addition, according to the administration, Cuomo’s 2019-2020 Executive Budget will authorize the State Department of Health to allocate up to $300 million of the $525 million in Health Care Facility Transformation Funds authorized in the 2018-2019 Enacted Budget to support project applications from health care providers that were not awarded grants during this round of funding.
“While the federal administration has spent two years working to roll back healthcare access, we are investing more than ever in programs and facilities to ensure New Yorkers get the high-quality services they need,” Cuomo said. “These investments in cutting-edge infrastructure will expand 21st century health care options in every corner of the state and improve the health and wellbeing of families for decades to come.”
The program is administered by DOH and the State Dormitory Authority and will help support the objectives of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program. The purpose of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program is to reduce health care costs and improve the health outcomes of New Yorkers by expanding access to inpatient, primary, preventative and other ambulatory care services as part of regionally integrated healthcare delivery systems, according to the State. The Delivery System Reform Incentive Program’s primary goal is to reduce avoidable hospital visits by 25 percent by 2020, Cuomo noted. The Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program awards are also focused on projects which will help ensure the financial sustainability of safety-net healthcare providers, and the preservation or expansion of essential health care services.
“Access to affordable, high-quality health care is a basic human right,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “This critical investment will improve access and deliver expanded medical services for every level of care. Our commitment to the health care needs of all New Yorkers is strengthened by this significant funding.”
State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, M.D., added that “New York is a national leader in delivering first-class health care,” and praised Cuomo’s “steadfast commitment to making sure our health care systems have the resources necessary to provide the best possible care.”