Persons diagnosed with schizophrenia often suffer from multiple chronic illnesses, have frequent contacts with healthcare organizations and have a shorter life expectancy. According to a 2006 study published by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), mental health patients died from 13 to 30 years sooner than the general population.
Through the help of a grant under the New York State Health Care Affordability and Efficiency Law (HEAL), HHC has embarked on a two-year project to improve the health status of New Yorkers diagnosed with schizophrenia by increasing the coordination of the healthcare they receive. Five HHC hospitals, the Urban Institute for Behavioral Health, the Creedmore Psychiatric Center and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Bureau of Correctional Health Services are members of the community health information exchange coalition that will electronically link HHC healthcare facilities with community-based mental health providers. The partnership is known as InTouch.
InTouch is funded by a $9 million NY HEAL grant, and $13 million in matching funds from all the program participants. The total $22 million in funding will be used to provide the technology, equipment, training and technical assistance needed to create interconnectivity through the Interboro Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), which already supports the electronic exchange of clinical information among providers of healthcare in New York City.
The InTouch partnership will enroll 2,500 patients who have received primary care from those HHC hospitals and are residents of a state-designated “care coordination” zone in Queens, North Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.
Use the links above to learn more about the InTouch partnership.