Crain's Health Pulse
September 28, 2016
Maimonides Medical Center and the Chinese American Independent Practice Association are teaming up to operate an after-hours clinic that will expand access to care in southwest Brooklyn.
The two providers will renovate a 1,000-square-foot storefront at 5318 Seventh Avenue to create an Express Care Center that will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight.
The clinic, scheduled to open in January, will be staffed by Maimonides physicians but CAIPA will provide the administrative staffing. The renovations are expected to cost $500,000 to $1 million. CAIPA also plans to add an additional Express Care Center in Chinatown in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System in the future.
The providers said they hope the added hours will result in fewer emergency room visits, hospital admissions and readmissions.
"The majority of our patients are blue-collar workers and they work all day until after 6 p.m., especially restaurant workers," said Peggy Sheng, CAIPA's chief operating officer. "These are the people we are trying to capture. If they feel discomfort, they may not need to go to an ER right away. They could be seen at an Express Care Center."
As Maimonides serves a growing Chinese community, this partnership is a way to serve them with more cultural sensitivity, explained Dominick Stanzione, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Maimonides.
"The Asian population, particularly the Chinese population, has grown pretty dramatically in Brooklyn," Stanzione said. "Over the last couple of years, we've been making efforts to better reach out to that community. CAIPA has also grown dramatically and they play a key role in organizing medical care in Brooklyn."
Maimonides' specialists will also coordinate with CAIPA physicians on best practices to ensure consistency in patient education. CAIPA has agreed to provide Maimonides with some of its patient navigators and translators to develop materials on its website tailored to CAIPA's Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking patients.
Education about cancer screenings will be a priority, since many Chinese American residents are receiving treatment at Maimonides' cancer center, said Kenneth Gibbs, Maimonides' president and chief executive.
A growing Chinese-American population has overwhelmed CAIPA's physicians in Brooklyn, said Gibbs.
The IPA has 58 primary-care doctors and 47 specialists for 158,000 patients in the borough.
Physicians are being asked to do more to monitor patients and keep them out of the hospital, which is forcing some doctors to put in 16-hour days, said Gibbs."This is also a way to take care of the physicians," Gibbs said.
CAIPA also has plans to roll out a 24/7 call center next year that will direct patients to the most appropriate setting for care.
As Maimonides works on programs designed to keep people out of the hospital, it continues to see growth in inpatient activity. The hospital has opened 46 additional medical/surgical beds since January and plans to add another 20 to 30 beds by the end of the year, Stanzione said.—J.L.