Issue 32
December, 2017
Welcome to Synergy
We are pleased to present the thirty-second issue of Synergy, a monthly newsletter about the progress and processes of the Suffolk Care Collaborative (SCC).

The definition of synergy is the increased effectiveness that results when two or more entities work together. We are confident that the combined efforts of the many dedicated partners within the SCC will help the Collaborative reach its goals, leading to improved health for the residents of Suffolk County.  

About Suffolk Care Collaborative (SCC):  SCC is an alliance of healthcare providers in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY, formed to support New York State's Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) initiative. Under the guidance and leadership of Stony Brook Medicine, SCC established a Population Health Management Service Organization to improve county-wide health by addressing a wide range of challenges to health in order to improve outcomes by encouraging wellness, making healthcare more accessible and reducing costs by decreasing unnecessary hospital utilization.  For more information, visit our website:

In This Issue
Value Based Payment Education Offered on SCC's Learning Center

The SCC's online Learning Center now offers Value Based Payment (VBP) 101 Introduction to VBP Reform & A Focus on Population Health Management training.  This topic is the first in a VBP learning series for  Primary Care Providers and practice staff, Behavioral Health Providers including Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Providers and staff, and Community Based Organizations and staff, particularly focused on those who address social determinants of health. VBP training is not limited to these target groups and is available to all who would like to participate and build competencies.  
The learning series will provide an overview of the country's health care delivery system and the goals of healthcare payment reform.  It addresses new models of care and payment and it's alignment to population health management. Participants will gain an understanding of the Triple Aim and how the system is being transformed in order to reach this goal. Training will also include VBP contracting models and risk sharing arrangements and performance measurement and data analytics under VBP. Emphasis is placed on the importance of coordinated care throughout the continuum and how social determinants of health can impact a patient's health outcomes. 

Learning objectives for Value Based Payment (VBP) 101 Introduction to VBP Reform & A Focus on Population Health Management: 
  • Describe Population Health Management and the role of the Suffolk Care Collaborative
  • Describe the Triple Aim and the benefits to broader healthcare initiatives
  • Summarize the current status of the US health care delivery system as an impetus for moving towards value based payment models
  • Identify the key elements of Value Based Payment (VBP) efforts, including NYS Medicaid goals/progress and the NYS VBP Roadmap
Future Learning Center VBP topics will include:  VBP 102 - A Deeper Dive into Value Based Payment Models; Performing a VBP Readiness Assessment; Value Based Payment Data & Analytics for Clinical Ambulatory Services and Community Based Services; Strategies to Implement & Sustain VBP.

Also be sure to check out the VBP University on the NYS Department of Health (DOH) website.  V BP University is an online, educational resource created by NYS DOH to raise awareness, knowledge and expertise in the move to Value Based Payment (VBP). VBP University combines informational videos and supplemental materials that stakeholders interested in VBP can use to advance their understanding of this massive transformation effort.  

Click here for an o verview of VBP University from Jason Helgerson, New York State Medicaid Director.  Semesters One, Two and Three of the VBP University as well as the VBP Resource Library can be accessed here.
Suffolk County's Provider Referrals to the  New York State Smokers'  Quitline is Third Highest in the State
The New York State Smokers' Quitline (NYSSQL), based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, is pleased to be working with the Suffolk Care Collaborative in helping to expand efforts to assist Suffolk County residents to become and stay tobacco free.
The NYSSQL offers a free Provider Referral Program in order to help patients quit tobacco use. The Provider Referral Program continues to grow as an integral component of NYSSQL services. The collaborative nature of the Provider Referral Program creates a systematic approach to tobacco cessation assistance for patients and benefits health care providers who can access individualized and aggregate patient outcome reports. This sustainable feedback loop enhances the circle of support between providers, patients and the NYSSQL.
Suffolk County has embraced the Provider Referral Program.   The NYSSQL recognizes and congratulates Suffolk County for having the third highest number of provider referrals for the state in 2017.  

T he NYSSQL looks forwarded to continuing efforts to expand services to all provider sites across the county.  For more information, or to set up a program, please contact Patricia Bax, RN, MS, TTS, ACB, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator 
COMPASS Unity and South Country School District Deploy Youth Development Survey

COMPASS Unity through Strength and Diversity, Bellport/South Country School District's alcohol and drug prevention and awareness coalition, recently administered The New York State Youth Development Survey (YDS). Family Service League's Prevention Specialist, funded by Suffolk Care Collaborative's DSRIP initiative, provided technical assistance to COMPASS Unity and South Country Central School District in administering the YDS.

The 128 question evidence-based questionnaire is produced by Pride Surveys under a contract with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The YDS was designed to assess risk and protective factors among students in grades 7 through 12. Results from the survey are valid estimates of the use of alcohol and other substances among adolescents, as well as other risky behaviors. The YDS aids in the identification of protective factors that are reported by youth, such as community and family engagement.  The last time the survey was administered in the Bellport community was in 2014.

In November 2017, the YDS was distributed to a random selection of middle and high school students during physical education classes. The data was collected through the use of a self-administered paper and pencil questionnaire. A Spanish language version of the survey was available for students who preferred to complete surveys in Spanish.

The Prevention Specialist and COMPASS Unity collaborated on the creation of ten additional questions that were added to the survey regarding vaping and e-cigarettes. The added questions aimed to assess youth perceptions and experiences about vaping and e-cigarettes. With a rise in vape shop businesses and the growing popularity of vaping and e-cigarette usage, it is necessary to obtain data related to these growing trends.

Upon receipt of the YDS results, COMPASS Unity along with the Prevention Specialist, will assist the Bellport/South Country community in using the survey results to better address the risk and protective factors identified in the YDS results report. The data will be compared with the results of the survey administered in 2014.  By assessing the risk and protective factors identified by students, the Prevention Specialist can assist COMPASS Unity in updating its strategic action plan. The prevention strategies listed in the strategic action plan address Bellport/South Country's common goals of improvement. The plan prioritizes where and how to focus resources and with which populations in the community, ensuring long-term success.

The DSRIP Underage Drinking Prevention Project has set aside funding for the YDS to be administered twice during the lifetime of the 4-year program.  Collectively, the surveys from 2014, 2017 and 2019 will establish trend data and effectively track progress in the reduction of substance use and other risky behaviors, while highlighting youth identified protective factors in the community.
Partner Interview
Name:  Laura Giardino, M.S., R.N., Clinical Nurse Pracitioner
Title:  Director, "Learn to be... Tobacco Free" Adult Cessation Program
Organization:  Suffolk County Department of Health, Office of Health Education

Please give us a summary of your organization.
The "Learn To be...Tobacco Free" (LTBTF) cessation program is offered by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Office of Health Education, to provide educational and behavioral support for people who are considering a quit attempt.  Although the prevalence of tobacco use has declined over the last 20 years, tobacco use continues to be the number one preventable cause of disease and death in the U.S. The free six week classes are conducted by Public Health Educators. Since medication and counseling increase the rate of successful quitting, all patients making a quit attempt are encouraged to use one or more of the 7 FDA approved pharmacotherapies.  Since the inception of the program in June of 2000, there have been over 800 programs throughout the county with over 17,000 participants attending classes.

Who does your program serve?
The classes, which are conducted by public health educators, are open to all Suffolk county residents. There are locations throughout the county.  Suffolk County Department of Health primarily serves underserved populations. Programs are conducted in or near the communities of need, as well as in libraries and hospitals.  Tobacco use is higher in people with mental illness and substance use disorders.

In addition to cessation services, the staff of the "Learn To be...Tobacco Free" program provides education and support to many health professionals working with the target populations to increase knowledge and skills in providing tobacco dependence treatment to their clients.

Why did your organization choose to partner of the SCC?
The goals of the "Learn To be...Tobacco Free" program align with the goals of the SCC.  Tobacco use is a major challenge to the health of individuals and society. It is a major contributor to chronic disease in the user and those around them. Every year more than 25,500 New Yorkers die prematurely as a result of tobacco use. More than twice that number live with tobacco-caused diseases and disabilities. In addition, there are about 3,000 premature deaths from diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer and stroke due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
Cessation of tobacco products improves the health of the individual and community. By improving the wellness of individuals, there will be a definite decrease in visits to emergency rooms and hospital admissions.

By working with the SCC, opportunities to collaborate with health partners serving our target populations are provided. The Collaborative provides educational forums for professionals to network, increase knowledge of services available to individuals and professionals, as well as educational information to enhance the services that partners provide.

Which DSRIP projects do you participate in? 
I currently attend the SCC's Access to Chronic Disease Prevention Committee meetings which focuses on chronic disease prevention (Project 4bii).  Lung cancer prevention is a major initiative of this committee.  Tobacco use is the leading cause of lung cancer; therefore, working with the professionals on this initiative is key to decreasing lung cancer in the future.

I am more directly involved in the Tobacco Cessation Coalition meetings. Joining with the other partners in this group provides an opportunity for collaboration and looking at the "big picture."  By working with medical practices and systems to implement system changes, referring patients to the NYS Quitline, fostering tobacco free campus initiatives and offering cessation services, tobacco use will continue to decrease in Suffolk County.

How do you see this project making an impact on the communities and population we serve?
By collaborating with a variety of partners in this project, there is the ability to address tobacco use from many different perspectives. By using a comprehensive approach to tobacco dependence, continued progress in decreasing tobacco use will be made. By working with youth and decreasing initiation of tobacco products, working with health care systems to improve the delivery of tobacco dependence treatment and referring people to appropriate health care services to support quit attempts are all part of the equation. Together, these efforts will lead to improved health for the residents of Suffolk County.

What do you hope the DSRIP program will accomplish in general?
I hope the DSRIP program will be able to continue the work that has been started. By addressing behaviors that lead to chronic disease such as smoking, substance use, obesity and inactivity, the notion of prevention of chronic disease is truly the key to increasing the health of our society.
Compliance Connection

OMIG Reminder Announcement:
2017 Managed Care Annual Program Integrity Report

NYS Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) reminds all Managed Care Organizations (MCO) and Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) providers that the Annual Program Integrity Report must be submitted to OMIG between January 1, 2018 and January 31, 2018.

The 2017 Annual Program Integrity Report Information and Submission Instructions are posted on OMIG's website.  

This reporting obligation only applies to MCOs and MLTCs pursuant to the Medicaid Managed Care Contract at Section 18.5 (a)(xix), and the Managed Long Term Care Partial Capitation Contract at Article VIII, Section F (3)(e). This reporting obligation does not apply to other Medicaid provider types.

If you have any questions or comments in connection to the Managed Care Annual Program Integrity Report form or the reporting instructions, please contact OMIG by email at or by phone at 518-408-0692.

For compliance questions, or assistance, contact the SCC Compliance Office at
 Milestone Dates
 NYS DOH DSRIP Program Milestone Dates
January 6
Final PPS Year 3 Second Quarterly Reports posted to DSRIP Website
January 9
Second Value Based Payment Bootcamp - NYC:  The New York Academy of Medicine
January 26
DY3 First DSRIP Payment to PPS
January 31
PPS Year 3 Third Quarterly Reports (10/1/17 - 12/31/17) due from PPS
February Opt-Out Phase IV Mailer

Frequently Asked Questions


To access NYS DSRIP FAQ, click  here.
Access previously published Synergy eNewsletters  here
Job woman showing hiring sign. Young smiling Caucasian   Asian businesswoman isolated on white background.
Office of Population Health
Career Opportunities
The SCC is pleased to invite qualified career seekers to apply for open positions. All job descriptions for current opportunities are posted here.

Current Job Opportunities:
  1. Administrative Assistant
  2. Care Manager
  3. Community Health Associate
  For more information, please contact the Suffolk Care Collaborative via email