It's unclear what the agreement will mean for Interfaith, said Melissa Krantz, a spokeswoman for the 277-bed Brooklyn hospital. The hospital's governing board president had not yet spoken with state officials as of Friday morning, Krantz said. “We are hopeful,” she said.
Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio publicly lobbied federal officials to approve the waiver in recent months. De Blasio pointed to the Brooklyn institutions' distress in applauding the deal.
“With this funding, we can finally turn the page on a decade of reckless hospital closures and confront the immediate crises facing seven hospitals in Brooklyn alone,” de Blasio said in a written statement.
Hospitals will likely be eligible for funds to shift services outside of their four walls into homes and less-costly settings. Hospital officials are already seeking to position themselves to move as quickly as possible, once the waiver details are finalized, said Kenneth Raske, president and CEO of the Greater New York Hospital Association. “We're wasting no time,” he said. “The need is right upon us.”
Funding will aid hospitals across the state, not just in Brooklyn, that are grappling with changes to healthcare delivery that shift more care into community and ambulatory settings and away from hospital beds, Raske said. “Brooklyn is a poster child, but it goes well beyond Brooklyn.”
The funds will be used for consolidation of New York's health system, primary-care expansion and increased care coordination, under a draft of the proposal submitted to the CMS at the end of January. The state's Medicaid plans also call for capital to stabilize safety net hospitals, including funds for operational restructuring and technical assistance to governing boards.
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