Anthropology, Communication and Transparency Cited As Most Important Factors in Mount Sinai-NYU Medical Center Merger Expected Volume of Financial Benefits of the Partnership is $100 Million Annually Six months after the merger of Mount Sinai with NYU Medical Center, Mount Sinai/NYU Medical Center and Health System President and CEO John W. Rowe reviewed the path to the partnership before an audience of health care professionals, faculty and students at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He was the keynote speaker at the Fifth Annual Adjunct and Affiliate Luncheon, held by the school’s Health Policy and Management Program, on February 23rd.
Dr. Rowe pointed to anthropology, communication and transparency as the keys to success for the Mount Sinai-NYU Medical Center merger. As he elaborated on the framework of the consolidation, he said that the need for institutional anthropology was the single most important thing to be learned. “It’s all about understanding cultures - organizational and community,” Dr. Rowe said. “It is not about creating a single identity; it is about creating a standard of quality that unifies the organizations’ goals even though their styles may be different.” Dr. Rowe explained that in order to succeed in medical, economic and political aspects, it is essential to serve the city’s communities by combining the highest standards of medical care with a profound understanding of the variety of cultural backgrounds. Patients want to see their doctor at the institution they know and trust and any merger must preserve this relationship and enrich the whole system’s understanding of cultures. In addition, the maximum standard of medical care includes: rededication to the values of academic medicine, advancement of medical science, training of future health care providers, and compassionate patient-centered care.
Dr. Rowe also emphasized that while the business side of the operation has to be consolidated, the practice side should remain untouched, at least in the patients’ eyes — the merger should be completely transparent to the patients. “It is our merger, not our patients’ merger,” he said. To date, the initial consolidation of the business side has been completed, while there has not been any negative impact for the patients.
Dr. Rowe said that communication is another important factor to be considered. As he explained, in order to be heard and understood, all information has to be repeated frequently and messages must be consistent and continuous throughout all levels and sites of the organization.
Dr. Rowe also indicated that financial realities are also important to the Mount Sinai-NYU Medical Center merger. Operational cost savings are expected to make up a large part of the benefits. Most hospital mergers in the US are projected to yield four to four and a half percent in operational savings. Additionally, the consolidation is anticipated to lead to an increase in patient volume, thus putting the new health system in a position where managed care providers cannot ignore it. Combined with capital expenditure avoidance, the total expected volume of financial benefits of the partnership is $100 million per year.
At the luncheon, Wagner’s Health Policy and Management Program also paid tribute to four members of the adjunct faculty who have gone above and beyond the call of duty by presenting them with the ACE (Adjunct/Affiliate Committed to Excellence) Awards.
This year’s ACE Award recipients were:
Lorraine Tredge, who has served as Executive Director of seven public hospitals in the greater New York area, and who teaches Community Health and Medical Care.
John Donnellan, Jr., Director of the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Dennis Lewis, Associate Director of the VA Medical Center, who have played key roles in the Wagner School’s residency program.
Robert Jacobs, President of Health Resources Optimization, Inc., who teaches the Capstone Program in Health Services Management and Finance with Professor Roger Kropf.
Established in 1938, the Wagner School offers advanced programs leading to professional degrees of Master of Public Administration, Master of Urban Planning, Master of Science in Management, and Doctor of Philosophy. Through these state-of-the-art programs, the School educates the future leaders of public, nonprofit, and health institutions as well as private organizations serving the public sector. Wagner prepares serious, talented professionals to face the constantly changing challenges of public service. Wagner’s programs in health policy and management strive to improve the health of communities, cities and nations through education, research and service.