Report: NY can do more for people with complex needs
Monday, October 16, 2023
A recent report found New York State can do more to bolster health care for people with complex needs.
The Rockefeller Institute report detailed how to fill the gaps of care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, serious mental illness, extensive medical needs and more. The Healthcare Association of New York State reported hospitals are facing serious delays in treating groups with additional needs.
Sally Dreslin, executive director of the Step Two Policy Project and the report's co-author, described why this element of health care has gone long unnoticed.
"We tend to structure the services that are provided in a way that is divided by need," Dreslin explained. "We have an increasing understanding that individuals receive services and need services across various sectors. And, our health care delivery system has not been built that way, and it is a challenge for it to evolve."
To bolster their efforts, New York care providers have been doing their own innovating of care models. For people with serious mental illness or substance-use disorder, the care model addresses health-related social needs such as community support, trauma-informed care and harm-reduction strategies. This model led to an almost 32% decrease in hospital readmissions.
Some challenges to bringing the different models of care to fruition are lack of funding, severe staff shortages, and lack of aligned state and federal laws.
Courtney Burke, senior fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government and co-author of the report, said there are ways to bolster these programs across the state.
"We have been seeking to get funding to scale the different innovations going on," Burke pointed out. "As we noted in the paper, we've been working with the McSilver Institute because they're very good at providing technical assistance that enables models to be replicated."
Burke added there are opportunities to enhance training from people who have been running the pilot programs for the new models.
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