The Innovation Strategies initiative, established in 2011, seeks to improve the performance of New York’s health care system—and the associated health of New Yorkers—by identifying, evaluating, and supporting the adoption of promising innovations in how health care services are organized, delivered, and financed, how they are engaging patients and families, and how they are using health information technology to guide and assess these new developments. The initiative is focusing initially on three key health care developments—advanced primary care, collaborative care, and accountable care—and will engage additional topics over time.


Advanced Primary Care
Since its inception, the Innovation Strategies initiative has analyzed and documented the characteristics of the Patient-Centered Medical Home—a primary care model that is changing the organization, management, and financing of primary care services, and applying advanced health information technology and connectivity, to improve access, quality and coordination of care, and the patient experience. The Innovation Strategies initiative is tracking the numerous forces—clinical, policy, market, demographic, and others—shaping the distribution of the model throughout New York City and State, and implementation issues that promote or constrain its adoption. The Fund’s work is helping providers, payers, and government officials to grapple with continuing policy and implementation challenges.

Collaborative Care
An important subtopic of advanced primary care is the integration of mental health services into primary care practice, especially for patients with mild-to-moderate depression or anxiety. The Innovation Strategies staff works with State agencies, payers, and providers to identify and resolve key regulatory and reimbursement issues. Special attention is being paid to medically underserved populations, who often suffer disproportionately from multiple physical and mental health conditions and the lack of a consistent primary care provider.

Accountable Care
In accountable care, contractual agreements between organized provider groups and payers make providers responsible for managing a defined population’s health—essentially sharing the risks of the costs of care—in exchange for an opportunity to share in any savings that may accrue from the provision of efficient, high-quality services that produce better health outcomes. The Innovation Strategies initiative analyzes the development and growth of accountable care in New York State and brings together statewide leaders and other stakeholders to exchange information on the principles and practical requirements of accountable care and other issues facing providers and payers.