Two Bronx healthcare systems have signed a letter of intent to explore a partnership in the latest sign of consolidation among New York City hospitals.
Montefiore Health System and SBH Health System, the operator of the 422-bed St. Barnabas Hospital, announced the plan Monday in a move that would connect SBH to higher levels of specialty care for cancer, cardiology and transplant services.
New York's community hospitals have looked to link up with the metro area's larger academic medical centers, as insurers aim to tie more of their payments to the quality of care rather than the quantity of tests and procedures performed. Larger systems, including Montefiore, are equipped with the IT infrastructure required to document and report their patients' outcomes in order to receive payment from insurers.
"With this letter of intent we can build on the strong foundation already in place to improve our community's health outcomes," said Dr. Steven Safyer, president and chief executive of Montefiore Health System, in a statement.
Montefiore, which has more than 3,000 beds in its system, has set a goal of bringing 1 million patients under value-based contracts in which it is prepaid by insurers and gets to keep any savings left over after the costs of care. It currently is managing about 450,000 individuals. The partnership with St. Barnabas could lead to more patients for Montefiore.
The two systems are already working together on several efforts to reform government health care programs, including New York state's $7.4 billion Medicaid overhaul that aims to curb avoidable hospital use by 25% through 2020. They are also working together on Medicare's Pioneer ACO Model, which is designed to improve quality and lower costs through greater coordination of care for patients.
"We see this as a logical next step for formalizing what has been a long and positive relationship. All citizens of the Bronx deserve the very best care, and together we will deliver on that commitment," said Dr. David Perlstein, president and chief executive of SBH Health System, in a statement.
The announcement follows recent plans by a number of other medical institutions to work together more closely. Earlier this month, the medical schools of Mount Sinai in Manhattan and Stony Brook on Long Island announced a research pact, and last month NYU Langone Medical Center said it would explore a partnership with Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, Long Island.