Bellone submits reform legislation saving taxpayers $31.5 million over the next five years

Long Island Exchange

In a move to continue to promote government reform, improve health care services and save taxpayer dollars, County Executive Bellone today laid on the table legislation to approve a contract with Hudson River Healthcare Inc. (HRHCare) to operate the South Brookhaven Family Health Center-West and the Marilyn Shellabarger South Brookhaven Family Health Center East-Shirley. Under the auspice of HRHCare, these two health care centers will become Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s) enhancing the health and welfare of underserved and underinsured individuals and their families.

“Since the beginning of my administration, I have promoted government reform through various initiatives to save tax payer dollars and ensure efficient operations,” said County Executive Bellone. “Transitioning these health centers to HRHCare’s oversight will provide improved health care service at a lower cost to tax payers–that represents government working at its best. The agreement will also bolster federal and state aid payments and provide federal coverage for malpractice cases. We have experienced successful transitions of other County health centers to HRHCare and look forward to what is to come from HRHCare.”

As the New York State Department of Health has encouraged Suffolk County to disengage in the direct healthcare business for primary care, the county has successfully transitioned 3 health care centers to FQHC’s under the auspice of HRHCare. This current initiative will save County taxpayers $31.5 million over the next five years, provide preventative primary, dental and mental health care services for all age groups, maintain continuity of care and expand services in compliance with FQHC program requirements.

HRHCare will operate the Health Centers at their current locations, though a sub-lease for the South Brookhaven Family Health Center-West and a lease with the County for the Marilyn Shellabarger South Brookhaven Family Health Center East at Shirley and will continue using the name Marilyn Shellabarger South Brookhaven Family Health Center East at Shirley in addition to its own name.

“The sound and prosperous relationships that we’re building in the county and throughout the communities ensure that our patients will continue to get the highest quality of care. The relationships and the agreements we have achieved speak to the integrity of state, the county, the local governments and our partners in assuring that even under the financial pressures placed upon them, that the health of the residents remain a priority.” Said Anne Kauffman Nolon, President and CEO of HRHCare.

Additional HRH contracts for Suffolk County Health Centers and Suffolk County cost savings associated:
Coram-Elsie Owens $ 6.4M/5 years
Southampton/East Hampton $ 3.8M/5 years
Amityville-Tri Community Health Center $ 4.5M/5 years
Wyandanch-MLK Health Center $ 8.6M/5 years
Total projected savings $23.3M/5 years