ALBANY BU. REVIEW: “Littauer has run in the black each of the past 16 years”

ALBANY BU. REVIEW: “Littauer has run in the black each of the past 16 years”

Here’s a story from our media partner, the Albany Business Review:

Five questions with Laurence Kelly, president and CEO of Nathan Littauer Hospital


SUBSCRIBER CONTENT: Nov 10, 2017, 6:00am EST

PHILIP SCALIA Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home CEO Laurence E. Kelly

Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home CEO Laurence E. Kelly

In an industry where the big players keep getting bigger, Laurence Kelly says he’s happy with where his hospital is.

Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville has been in the black each of the past 16 years. That financial footing lets the hospital make decisions that allow doctors to provide better care, even if it may not help the bottom line.

Kelly, president and CEO of the hospital, compares it to baseball players Dustin Pedroia or Jose Altuve who are both small in stature but have been among the best players in the league.

They were supposed to be too small to be successful, but they surprised people, Kelly says.

Have you been approached about affiliations or mergers with other larger hospitals? You know, everybody wants us. We’ve been in the black 16 years in a row. I don’t think there’s another hospital that can say that. We think there’s no reason we can’t stay independent, and what I tell people who ask me is, “When things change here, we’ll call you.”

Patient days declined for hospitals on The List again this year, while outpatient visits were up. What do you see as the driving forces behind that? It’s been going on for a long time. Inpatient revenue is about 20 percent of our total revenue. Look at the average hospital, and it’s closer to 40 percent, and those hospitals aren’t doing as well.

Did the Affordable Care Act play a role in that? It could have accelerated it a little bit, but it’s hard to track it. We opened a primary care center in Fonda this year. It hasn’t had health care in years. One patient told us he thought there’d been a doctor there in the ‘80s. Since August, we’ve been getting one or two new patients a day, some who are seeing a doctor for the first time. That was a goal of the ACA, to visit doctors before things get bad and you end up in the ER or get admitted.

Health care is a fast-growing sector for hiring. Is it difficult to get people to come to Gloversville? We had Sen. Chuck Schumer here a few weeks ago and he was blown away when I told him we have employees here from 20 different countries. It’s like a mini-United Nations, and we’re proud of that. There are some niche jobs that are difficult to fill, but we have been able to recruit who we need.

What’s next for the hospital? We’ve got a bunch of things up our sleeve. One thing we’re seeing are the CVS’s, the Rite Aids, the Price Choppers, drug stores building a little corner for telemedicine. In the next year or two, there’s going to a proliferation of alternatives for going to the doctor’s office for simple things. Any health care organization not doing that now better figure out how to do that.





Medical records available online

Online medical record access becoming available in Capital Region
Monday, July 28, 2014
By Bethany Bump
Gazette Reporter

CAPITAL REGION — The list of things we can do online grows exponentially with each passing year. We can pay our bills, stream television, listen to music and check out books from our local libraries.
Yet somehow, in 2014, we’re still getting most of our medical records in person, over the phone or via fax. That’s starting to change in pockets of the country where health care providers are building secure, online portals for patients to view, download and transmit their medical records.
In less than a week, residents of the Capital Region should be able to start accessing their medical records this way, thanks to the launch of Hixny’s Secure Patient Portal.
“The portal will empower patients to take a more proactive role in their health care,” said Hixny spokesman Eric Wohlleber.
The Latham-based health information exchange serving eastern New York has been building the portal for some time now in response to the changing health care landscape under the Affordable Care Act. Through federal incentive programs, providers are being urged to provide patients the ability to not just view, but download and transmit their medical records electronically.
Hixny is rolling out the portal in phases, starting with a select group of area hospitals that will sign interested patients up as they are admitted. Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh is already doing this. Next up are three hospitals in the greater Capital Region — Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, Ellis Medicine in Schenectady and Saratoga Hospital — and two more distant facilities, Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, and Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake.
Nathan Littauer’s portal will go live within the next week. Patients can enroll in person, online or over the phone, depending on their preference.
“Our portal is actually live, but we have not started enrolling patients because we’re quality assuring the data flow and making sure everything is functioning correctly,” said Martin Brown, the vice president of information services and CIO. “We want patients to see good data in a good format that makes sense to them.”
Hixny now serves more than 719 entities in the Capital Region and Northern New York area, from hospitals, practices and long-term care providers to health homes, imaging centers and payers.
Individual providers here and there have launched online portals like this in recent years, but those who contract with Hixny to launch a portal will provide patients with their entire community health record.
“So up until now, these online portals have operated in silos if they operate at all,” said Wohlleber. “Hixny, because of our vast member network, will be able to provide a patient with records from their hospital, their primary care provider, their specialists, and so on, so long as they’re a member of our network. The goal is to build a complete picture.”
The true test will be whether moving medical records to an electronic format will make for a better-informed and eventually healthier population. Brown seems to think so, and a vast number of health care experts agree.
Not only is the online format more accessible and secure than paper records, it makes analyzing and understanding your own medical history a lot easier.
“The whole purpose of this is engagement,” said Brown. “Right now, a patient really can’t get to their records easily and when they do get them they’re not in a friendly format. I think this will open up the door to patients taking an interest in what their records say. Maybe they’ll find something that wasn’t recorded quite right or they’ll notice an allergy has disappeared. The other thing with this is, let’s say you have diabetes. That will be listed in the portal with a link to the CMS website, so you can just click a button and start reading more about your disease. I think this will make a big difference.”
Local providers can receive financial support from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services if they can demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records. Nathan Littauer has to see at least 5 percent of discharges use the portal before Sept. 30 or it won’t receive an incentive payment, Brown said.
“Right now, there are incentive dollars to get this accomplished,” he said. “Eventually, there will be penalties.”
The following is some of the information available through Hixny’s Secure Patient Portal:
Patient name
Admit and discharge date and location
Reason for hospitalization
Care team, including the attending physician of record as well as other providers of care
Procedures performed during admission
Current and past problem list
Current medication list and medication history
Current medication allergy list and medication allergy history
Vital signs at discharge
Laboratory test results (if made available at time of discharge)
Summary of care record for transitions of care or referrals to another provider
Care plan field(s), including goals and instructions
Discharge instructions for patient
Demographics maintained by hospital (sex, race, ethnicity, date of birth, preferred language)
Smoking status

Officials praise health care sign-ups

Officials praise health care sign-ups

More than 4,000 enrolled in counties

July 13, 2014


More than 4,000 individuals in Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties enrolled in the health care sign-ups.

Nearly 1 million New Yorkers enrolled in the marketplace in total during the first-year open enrollment period.

According to a news release from New York State of Health, a study of the first-year open enrollment period shows more than 80 percent of enrollees reported being uninsured at the time of application. Enrollment occurred in every county in the state and across all eligible health plans, and across a mix of age groups.

Across the three counties, 4,157 people have enrolled, according to the report.

In an email, Mike Ostrander, Nathan Littauer Hospital’s chief financial officer, said the hospital was pleased with the amount of enrollments. New York State of Health website navigators employed by Littauer enrolled roughly 1,200 individuals in the program.

“Nathan Littauer Hospital is pleased with the response we have had to the marketplace. We feel that 1,200 applications processed is a good starting-off point,” Ostrander said in the email. “We have offered multiple channels for people to enroll in quality, affordable coverage through this new marketplace. People now have options.

This marketplace is part of the Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare.

Cheryl McGrattan, vice-president of marketing at Nathan Littauer, said this was uncharted territory.

“This is the first time our country has done something like this in 230 years,” McGrattan said.

From Oct. 1, 2013, through April 15, 960,762 New Yorkers enrolled in a health care plan through NY State of Health.

“Year one of the marketplace has been a tremendous success with more than 960,000 New Yorkers enrolling in quality, low-cost health insurance,” said Donna Frescatore, executive director of NY State of Health, in a news release. “The year-one results show strong activity throughout the state and across many important measures, such as age, prior insurance status, affordability and health plan options. We’re looking forward to building upon this success during the next open enrollment period, which begins for individuals and families on November 15, 2014, for coverage starting on January 1, 2015.”

The report, filed between Oct. 1 and April 15, shows 370,000 enrollments in qualified health plans. According to, a qualified health plan is an insurance plan that is certified by the Health Insurance Marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act, provides essential health benefits and follows established limits on cost-sharing, like deductibles, copayments and out-of-pocket maximum amounts. Roughly 65,000 individuals enrolled in a Child Health Plus plan, and 525,000 enrolled in Medicaid.

In Fulton County, 2,101 people enrolled in the marketplace. Of that number, 1,067 enrolled in Medicaid, 208 in Child Health Plus plans and 826 into all qualified health plans.

McGrattan said during the enrollment period there was no way the hospital could have predicted the amount of people that would enroll.

Fulton County Supervising Public Health Nurse Dale Woods said while her department does not keep track of health insurance enrollments, her department does refer clients to navigators who can help enroll them in insurance programs.

Woods did say she felt the numbers sounded reasonable for their population.

Montgomery County saw 1,836 enrollments, with 1,016 enrolling in medicaid, 161 in Child Health Plus plans and 659 in qualified health plans.

Kim Conboy, Montgomery County Public Health director, said that prior to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, approximately more than 5,000 individuals in Montgomery County were uninsured.

Fact Box

Local enrollment

The following is the number of enrollees in the New York State of Health health care marketplace:

Fulton County: All programs – 2,101; Medicaid – 1,067; Child Health Plus – 208; all other qualified health plans – 826; total – 2,101

Montgomery County: All programs – 1,836; Medicaid – 1,016; Child Health Plus – 161; all other qualified health plans – 659

Hamilton County: All programs – 220; Medicaid – 87; Child Health Plus – 21; all other qualified health plans – 112