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Schuyler Hospital will increase shared services

MONTOUR FALLS—It was announced Friday, Sept. 25, that Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Schuyler Hospital, and Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital (Bath) will get $6,274,554 from the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL) Phase 11 for the restructuring of services.
Michelle Benjamin, community relations director for Schuyler Hospital, explained that the funds will be used between the three hospitals to offer more services.
Some of the money will go towards offering dialysis services at Schuyler Hospital. Benjamin said the hospital does not currently offer that and has to send patients to Elmira or Geneva. She explained Arnot Ogden will operate a four bed dialysis unit at Schuyler Hospital.
She said the space will be leased out to Arnot. Benjamin said that will hopefully be available by the end of the year. 
She said that already Schuyler Hospital sends an orthopedic surgeon to Ira Davenport on a regular basis.  She explained that with the state funds the hospital will send up to three surgeons to Ira Davenport where they will have office hours.  Benjamin said if the program proves to be a success Schuyler Hospital could send more surgeons.
The third use of funds for Schuyler Hospital will be to integrate a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) into the hospital for radiological use.  She explained it allows doctors to view X-rays and Magnetic Resonance Images (MRIs) that are stored on another computer in the server.  Even if that computer is at another hospital.  Benjamin said the hospital will also be looking at other ways to improve technologically with the funds.
Claudia Hutton, director of public affairs for the New York Department of Health, said hospitals applied for the funds.  She said the state looks for projects that will increase shared services and decrease the number of in-patient beds.  Hutton said that the closer the applications came to the specifications, the more money that was requested was received.  These three hospitals got $6,274,554 of the $9,021,876 total project.
She said projects that did not get all the money could get funds through other grants or may end up covering the difference.  Both she and Benjamin were not sure how Schuyler Hospital, Arnot Ogden, and Ira Davenport would meet the difference.
Hutton said the hospitals will get the funds through reimbursements.  She said the department of health will evaluate how the money is spent and then send out reimbursements.

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