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Understanding The Affordable Care Act: Mount Sinai’s Geriatric ER

Hospital Official: 'Our Model Can Improve Quality And Decrease Costs'
Geriatric ER, Mt. Sinai Hospital.  The skylight helps improve the mental health of patients. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Geriatric ER, Mt. Sinai Hospital. The skylight helps improve the mental health of patients. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

CBS New York (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSNewYork.com/ACA

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – One New York City hospital has launched an effort to reduce Medicare costs under the Affordable Care Act.

In her ongoing 10-part series – Understanding The Affordable Care Act – WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond looks at how businesses, patients and hospitals are getting ready before the so-called individual mandate goes into effect on Oct. 1.

Mount Sinai Hospital has been experimenting with an emergency department for patients 65 years and older.

“I think what we’re trying to do is prove that our model can improve quality and decrease costs,” Dr. Kevin Baumlin told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

He said safety and comfort features make their geriatric ER different.

“Handrails along the side, special mattresses that prevent bedsores if you’re on them for a long time, a fake skylight that gets bright in the morning and brighter in the afternoon and dark at night to prevent what’s called sun-downing, the delirium associated with not understanding the times of day,” Baumlin, the hospital’s vice chairman of emergency medicine, told Diamond.

WEB EXTRA: UNDERSTANDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Under the Affordable Care Act, a hospital’s Medicare payments are tied to patient satisfaction surveys.

Mount Sinai was sure to get one from Shirley Gonzales, who was given puzzles and a iPad to play on as she waiting for her husband.

“I think it’s beautiful, it’s wonderful,” she told Diamond. “I never heard of it before though, and I think this is wonderful.”

In Part 9 on Thursday, Diamond talks to a doctor with concerns about access to medical care once the exchanges open up.

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