When New York state launched its Regulatory Modernization Initiative for health care this fall, Common Ground Health made sure that our region was part of the change conversation.

Senior staff attended statewide workgroup meetings and sought input from regional providers on the Department of Health’s recommendations for telemedicine, dialysis, cardiac care and behavioral health.

“Our region responded quickly, providing an important perspective on how to best adapt health care regulations for new technologies and ways of practicing medicine in the Finger Lakes,” said Dr. Thomas Mahoney, chief medical officer for Common Ground Health.

Below is an update on the five issues followed for the Finger Lakes region: 

Integrated Primary Care and Behavioral Health

  • The Department of Health issued a Limited Licensure proposal that would make it easier for primary care practices to offer mental health or substance use disorder services. Likewise, the regulatory changes would simplify the process for outpatient behavioral health clinics to provide primary care services. Read the full proposal here.
  • Based on input from regional partners, Common Ground Health submitted a regional response in support of the draft licensure, with a request for clarification on reimbursement, professional licensure and the process going forward. Read our regional response here.

End Stage Renal Disease Need Methodologies

  • The state Public Health and Health Planning Council reviewed the current need methodology for dialysis facilities and added new avenues for justifying additional sites, such as the need for more convenient facilities so that patients do not have to travel long distances for treatment and the extent to which a new facility would address medically underserved populations.
  • Based on feedback from partners, Common Ground Health supported the council’s proposal, which was later approved. Read the state’s recommendations here.

The Department of Health has extend the work of remaining workgroups beyond the initial November deadline. Common Ground Health will continue to follow these groups and to solicit regional input as draft proposals are put forth for:

  • Telehealth

  • Post-Acute Care

  • Long Term Care Need Methodologies and Innovative Models

  • Cardiac Care Need Methodologies

For more on RMI, visit the state’s RMI webpage here