On April 1, Independence Care System will open the first and only “health home” in New York State specializing in helping people with physical disabilities stay healthy and independent, in their communities. A “health home” is not a place where people live; it is an organization that helps coordinate healthcare, social and community-based services, and public benefits like food stamps or housing assistance.
Health homes were created to help low-income New Yorkers with multiple health conditions, which virtually all ICS members have, to remain as healthy as possible. Health home care managers may help schedule medical appointments and make sure that a member’s doctors are working together and sharing important information; they may educate members about their conditions so they can take better care of themselves, or help members apply for public benefits and advocate for themselves.
Our mission remains the same
ICS was created almost 20 years ago in order to help New Yorkers with disabilities get the services they need to live outside of institutions and to thrive in their communities. Our founders put into practice the belief that disability rights are human rights, including the right to choose how and where to live.
The new ICS health home will carry that mission forward. It is the result of many months of discussion with the State Department of Health about how to make sure that ICS’s disability expertise will continue benefitting our members and the broader community of New Yorkers with disabilities when ICS closes its managed long-term care (MLTC) plan, now scheduled for March 31.
Between now and then we are providing all ICS members with information and guidance about joining another MLTC, while encouraging the many ICS members who are eligible to also join our new health home. A great deal of information is available, here.
“DOH worked with us over many months to ensure that we will be able to use the specialized knowledge and skills we have developed to continue serving New Yorkers with disabilities, some of whom have been ICS members for almost two decades,” said ICS Chief Operating Officer Regina Estela. “We are thrilled that ICS will be able to continue filling the critical need for comprehensive disability-expert care coordination.”
ICS President Rick Surpin added, “ICS has an impressive record of helping our members avoid disability-related health crises and unnecessary hospitalizations and nursing home stays. What we do not only saves public health dollars, it is vital to ensuring that New Yorkers with disabilities are able to live safely and independently in their communities, which lies at the heart of the ICS mission.”
Want to know more about the new ICS health home? Read our brochure! Interested in joining or making a referral? Call 1.877.ICS.2525.