AMC, others team up to establish ADK Health Institute

The Adirondack Medical Center is joining forces with two other regional health care providers to establish an organization which hopes to address rapid changes and challenges to the health care system.

Alongside the CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh and the Hudson Headwaters Health Network, AMC wants to provide regional leadership for the Adirondack Medical Home Pilot.

Officials say the program aims to improve health care quality, increase access to primary care services, and keep costs down.

The pilot features more than 35 primary care practices, including about 100 physicians from across the Adirondack North Country as well as physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Five hospitals, seven commercial health plans, and more are also participating in the program.

AMC President & CEO Chandler Ralph, CVPH President Stephens Mundy, and Hudson Headwaters CEO Dr. John Rugge said in a joint statement this week that health care providers have already witnessed positive results through the regional partnership.

"Thanks to years of joint planning, health care in our region is being improved and patient needs better met through the medical home model of primary care," they said. "The end result will be improved quality and reduced costs.

Officials say a formalized relationship through the Adirondack Health Institute serves to further expand regional collaboration among health care providers.

The new health institute will also manage grant-supported programs and outreach efforts in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.

The new partnership will offer a variety of services, including: rural health care; community health advocacy; facilitated enrollment; a Greater Adirondack Perinatal Network; and sexual trauma and recovery services, among others.

AMC spokesman Joe Riccio says the new institute is licensed as a Central Service Facility under New York State Public Health Law. It will operate with an annual budget of about $5 million.

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