Collaboration between Family Service League and Southside Hospital aimed at better patient healthcare, lower medical costs

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BAY SHORE, NY - August 26, 2011 - People with chronic mental illness often have other physical health problems and are not understood, or well served, by primary care providers. These individuals generally have poorer, overall health as compared to the general population and are subject to uncoordinated medical care, often resulting in unnecessary and duplicative testing and procedures. Addressing the lack of coordinated healthcare for this segment of the population, Family Service League (FSL) and Southside Hospital today announced a partnership that will integrate Behavioral Healthcare with Primary Healthcare for 200 individuals with mental health disorders to help improve overall patient healthcare through "person-centered care coordination."

The Community Health Care Collaborative (CHCC) aims to advance patients' health outcomes while reducing medical costs resulting from needless emergency department hospital visits and unwarranted tests and procedures. The CHCC is a specialized health services program to coordinate physical and behavioral health and social services for adults with chronic mental illness.

The collaboration between FSL, Suffolk's leading non-profit human service agency and Southside Hospital, a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System is based on the Health Home model, a nationally-recognized strategy that has been implemented in communities across the country, proven to help eliminate disparities in health care quality, while improving health outcomes for chronically mentally ill populations. The Health Homes model use a team approach to providing care, with a "care coordinator" as the central figure, facilitating partnerships among the patient, his or her personal primary care clinician, and the patient's family, when appropriate.

According to the New York Care Coordination Program (NYCCP), the Health Home model led to a 46% decrease in emergency room visits per enrollee, often the primary healthcare intervention. Health Home also resulted in 53% fewer days spent in the hospital and a 54% decrease in self-inflicted harm and a 53% reduction in harm to others. In terms of lower costs, New York State counties participating in NYCPP showed a 92% drop in costs for inpatient services and 42% less for outpatient services according to the New York State Office of Mental Health.

The CHCC program, which is expected to be launched on October 3rd, will be based on-site at FSL's Iovino South Shore Family Center in Bay Shore.

"Our goal is to serve patients so that they receive the highest quality care in the most appropriate setting," said Winnie Mack, RN, executive director of Southside Hospital. "The partnership between Southside Hospital and the Family Service League is based on a national model that ensures high quality outcomes for patients while simultaneously managing health care costs. We believe this partnership will improve behavioral health care in Suffolk County and lessen the reliance on emergency rooms for care that should more appropriately be delivered in a primary care setting."

"The Community Health Care Collaborative is designed to provide individuals with serious and chronic mental health conditions a coordinated, team approach to improved overall medical care," said Karen Boorshtein, president and CEO, Family Service League. "Combining the resources of Southside Hospital, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and FSL, patients will see a marked improvement in both physical and behavioral health outcomes."

About Family Service League
Family Service League (FSL), founded in 1926, is a not-for-profit, community based human service agency assisting more than 47,000 people each year. FSL serves individuals from infancy through the senior years and families, and offers 45 programs in 15 locations. Family Service League has five Family Centers -located in Huntington, Huntington Station, Bay Shore, East Yaphank, and Riverhead - where families can come and receive assistance to address a broad range of needs. Other program sites are located throughout Long Island from Huntington to Greenport to East Hampton. FSL is credentialed by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services (COA) for meeting the highest standards of best practices and quality services for individuals and families. For more information, call 631-427-3700 or visit the Family Service League web site at