It was standing room only at the campuses of Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals, and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary for a series of Town Hall meetings at which the leaders of the Mount Sinai Health System presented their vision for the future and how the new system will address today’s health care challenges.
At five meetings, which took place from October 15-24, Kenneth L. Davis, MD, Chief Executive Officer and President, Mount Sinai Health System, and Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System, emphasized that each hospital and ambulatory practice will play a key role in the growth and development of Mount Sinai.
“The country is embracing a new model of care—away from fee for service and toward one that emphasizes population health management,” Dr. Davis said in his opening remarks at each venue. “Consolidated provider systems can best manage care under this new model, absorb the costs, and assume the risks associated with this form of reimbursement.”
Dr. Charney emphasized developing clinical institutes of excellence across the system to enhance clinical care, research, and education. “This allows us to develop best practice models and share them transparently with all practitioners,” he said. Dr. Charney added that institutes of excellence “provide our medical students, residents, and fellows the most robust education and training and advance Mount Sinai’s world-renowned depth and breadth of clinical research.”
The physician leaders also pointed to the unique and complementary strengths of the combined system. “The Continuum hospitals represent a strong base of ambulatory and primary care, which when combined with Mount Sinai’s, creates the largest distribution of primary care physicians in the city,” Dr. Davis said. “This will greatly enhance our ability to successfully address population health management.”
Audiences at each venue raised questions covering a wide range of topics. Some physicians inquired about strengthening referrals to Mount Sinai’s nationally ranked clinical programs. Dr. Davis assured this was a top priority. “There is no reason with a system as vast and dynamic as ours that referrals should be lost to other providers,” he asserted. He used the example of Mount Sinai Queens, which refers more than 1,000 patients annually to The Mount Sinai Hospital. “We want to be that same resource to all of the other hospitals in our new system,” he added.
There also were many questions from staff covering topics from benefits to consolidations. “We are moving at a rapid pace toward full integration throughout the system,” Dr. Davis said. “However, there are still some decisions that are going to take some time because they require more thoughtful discussion.”
In closing, Dr. Davis complimented the entire Mount Sinai Health System community for its dedication to strong collaboration. “Ultimately, it’s the patients who are going to benefit,” he said. “Meeting their needs is why we all entered the health care profession.”
Word On the Street
Attendees comment on the Town Hall meetings
Director of Health Education and Outreach, Beth Israel Medical Center
“The Town Hall meeting was very informative and helped shed important light on many questions that my colleagues and I have. I left feeling that I understood more clearly the benefits of being part of a larger system.”
Assistant Director for Security, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals
“The excellent Town Hall turnouts are a testament to everyone’s interest in learning more about the new Mount Sinai Health System. They’ve been very helpful in educating all of us.”