In a move to boost population health and reduce avoidable hospital use, the Westchester Medical Center Health Network in New York is creating physical hubs offering a variety of health care and wellness services.
Calling the two planned hubs "medical villages," visitors will have access to such services as primary care, behavioral health, diagnostics, telemedicine, exercise classes and healthy cooking classes.
"The idea behind the medical village is that we transform local care around the population," says Marsha Casey, executive vice president of clinical and professional support services for WMCHealth. "We want it to be community-based and move toward keeping populations healthy, getting people into a medical home so they don't have to show up in the emergency department."
The villages are part of the improvement plans in the works for WMC's HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley in Kingston and Bon Secours Charity Health System in Port Jervis.
Casey says the effort is being driven by the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program, an initiative that will allow New York to reinvest $8 billion in federal savings generated by Medicaid reforms.
And while the program stems from Medicaid reform, medical village services will be available to everyone, Casey adds.
At HealthAlliance, the medical village will be located on the health system's Broadway campus. "This is a pivot for us, the first probably of many, where we're going from volume to value," says David Scarpino, HealthAlliance president and CEO.
The HealthAlliance plans also include an expansion and additional improvements at its other campus, located on Mary's Avenue.
Mary Leahy, M.D., president and CEO of Bon Secours Charity Health System, says its medical village will provide "key services that haven't been there. And by doing that, we're trying to nurture a healthier community."