At first thought, the term "Dormitory Authority" elicits notions of college dorms and the resident
authorities (RAs) that oversee co-ed inhabitants with either an iron fist or a blind eye - all
depending on the college, of course.
When coupled with the state of New York, however, the term takes on a whole new meaning, yet still retains a sense of well-intentioned oversight for the public's, or rather patient's, benefit. Founded in 1944, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York offers project financing and construction services to non-profit organizations across the state that provide community programs and meet public purpose within their mission. Healthcare was included in this category in 1995, when the Authority merged with the then New York State Medical Care Facilities Finance Agency and created the Tax Exempt Leasing Program (TELP), enabling it to finance technology and equipment to its nonprofit clients. As of the end of last year, TELP had funded more than 400 projects to the tune of around $2.6 billion.
"The Authority has been active in assisting providers including nursing homes, hospitals and others to fund technology necessary to make interoperability and Meaningful Use possible," explains Art Ware, TELP General Manager at DASNY. "Projects include software, hardware and other assets necessary to obtain this goal. If 2012 is like 2011, we will come to or exceed our self-imposed annual cap for financing equipment and technology of $250 million. The average project is for general medical equipment, and almost all assets have a clinical or information nexus to healthcare. We see healthcare information technology continuing to increase in 2012 as it did in 2011."
Last December, the Authority announced its biggest TELP-funded project to date - a tri-party master lease of $88.4 million for Catholic Health Services of Long Island's (CHSLI's) electronic medical records (EMR) project. According to Ware, the transaction will finance EMR assets and technology for a data center five CHSLI hospitals - Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, St. Charles Hospital, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, and St. Francis Hospital. It is also expected to save the health system more than $5.4 million over 84 months, when comparing taxable commercial funding.
"The EMR project will enable these facilities to be compliant with the new requirements of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which is under the development, management and operation of the Commissioner of the New York State Dept. of Health," Ware says. "The department, via SHIN-NY, is developing standards to secure patient health information - its use, storage and transmission.
"Ultimately, what all this means is that these five hospitals on Long Island will be able to network among themselves, and will be able to share essential patient record information over a highly secured data system, within and external to the Catholic Health System in an inter-operative, multilateral collaborative process that is intended to save lives, and be quick and efficient."
Ware adds that the Authority has funded a significant number of EMR technology-specific projects across the state since it received legislative authorization to fund intellectual property technology under the TELP program more than a year ago.
|Provider||IT-EMR ($)||Total Funded ($)|
|Nathan Littauer Hospital||2,000,000||250,950|
|Mary Imogene Bassett||10,400,000||1,889,990|
|Hospital For Special Surgery (NYC)||16,000,000||5,000,000|
|Rochester General Hospital||54,969,282||54,969,282|
|Montefiore Medical Center||17,528,118||1,200,681|
|St. Joseph's Hospital||6,823,608||412,184|
|Rome Memorial Hospital||7,500,000||2,587,751|
|Catholic Health Services of LI||88,848,520||88,848,520|
|Hebrew Home for Aged At Riverdale||2,592,089||1,527,089|
The table above lists additional healthcare IT-related projects the Authority is currently involved with. All are at various stages of implementation.
Late last month, the Authority approved $534 million in financing for higher education and healthcare institutions, confirming Ware's prediction that 2012 will likely see an increase in interest related to funding of healthcare IT projects across the state.