FAQ | St Peter's Health Partners
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FAQ

What is St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP)?

SPHP is the new entity formed by the merger of Northeast Health, St. Peter’s Health Care Services and Seton Health. It is the largest and most comprehensive not-for-profit network of high-quality, advanced medical care, primary care, rehabilitation, and senior services in the region.

Why did Northeast Health, St. Peter’s Health Care Services and Seton Health decide to merge?

We believe that by combining our complementary strengths, we can significantly improve our ability to meet the health care needs of the region. We will now be able to offer more coordination, improved efficiency, reduced fragmentation of care, and improved access for poor and underserved people in the Capital Region and beyond. Plus, by transforming health care at the regional level, our organizations are better positioned financially to respond to things like state budget cuts and federal health care reform. We can be proactive, not simply reactive to the changing environment.

Does the new St. Peter’s Health Partners have a religious affiliation?

SPHP is a member of Catholic Health East and abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church. However, the new company, St. Peter’s Health Partners, is not a Catholic entity. Organizations that are currently part of St. Peter’s Health Care Services and Seton Health retain their Catholic identities. Organizations that are currently affiliated with Northeast Health remain secular. The merger better allows the organizations to combine their complementary strengths and meet the sweeping challenges of federal health care reform.

How will this merger impact me?

SPHP has been formed to bring you a better overall quality of care. And it’s important to know that while you may see some things changing over the next few months – new signs, new names, etc – your relationship with your provider will not be affected.

Is the name of my hospital going to change?

No. The names of all four acute care hospitals in the new system – St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany Memorial, Samaritan and St. Mary’s, as well as Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital – are all staying the same.

Will I be able to see the same provider in the same office?

Yes. For the immediate future, all providers, services and offices that you’re used to will stay the same. But over the next few years, as our systems become more aligned and integrated to provide better care and service, it is possible this may change.

Do I need to do anything to ensure my care stays the same?

No. You can keep doing everything the same way you always have. As we align and integrate our systems, we’ll keep you informed on any changes that may impact you.

How will this merger benefit our community, staff and physicians?

The merger creates a foundation for consistent care management across all care levels by improving access, enhancing quality and making better use of scarce resources. Staff will have the security and assurance of knowing that the merged organization will be financially strong with a commitment to staff development and a supportive work environment. The new system will also offer staff greater opportunities for professional growth and a chance to experience a variety of practice settings within the same system.

SPHP will afford employed and private practice physicians greater opportunities to work together with our hospitals to design new service delivery models to improve quality and reduce costs. We will also assist physicians in creating more supportive practice environments that will aid in physician recruitment.

Will there be any layoffs as a result of the merger?

In order to accomplish transformational change, there will be an impact on jobs. Many of the changes require Certificate of Need approval or other regulatory approval. Some involve significant construction and/or renovation. Our goal is to retain skilled individuals – perhaps some performing different jobs, some in different locations – in a more stable organization and work environment. Any reductions in our more than 11,700 employees will be mitigated by annual attrition rates of 10 to 12 percent. Our institutions have a tradition of valuing staff and minimizing the impact to staff as changes occur. This has been the case in changes that have already occurred as a result of this merger. We hope to continue that tradition as we move through the integration process.

What is the mission of SPHP?

Founded in community-based legacies of compassionate healing, we provide the highest quality comprehensive continuum of integrated health care, supportive housing and community services, especially to the needy and vulnerable.

How does St. Peter’s Health Partners affect the long-term care services and facilities operated by The Eddy, St. Peter’s and Seton Health?

The new entity does not result in any closures of long-term services or facilities. In fact, with the growing needs of an aging population, SPHP enables us to strengthen our ability to expand and enhance long-term care services, including skilled nursing, Alzheimer's care, independent senior living, enriched/assisted living and PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly). Long-term care is a hallmark of the SPHP system and all long-term care, as well as home care, sub-acute and acute rehabilitation, and hospice is organized under The Eddy.

Does that mean St. Peter’s and Seton’s nursing homes are part of The Eddy?

Yes, in late 2011, the reporting structure for St. Peter's two nursing homes, Our Lady of Mercy Life Center and St. Peter's Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and Seton's nursing home, Schuyler Ridge, changed. The leadership of those nursing homes now report to the Residential Services Division of The Eddy, along with The Eddy's skilled nursing facilities.

What about The Community Hospice? Where does that fit in?

Leadership of The Community Hospice now reports to the CEO of The Eddy/Executive Vice President, SPHP Continuing Care. However, The Community Hospice is considered an affiliate corporation of SPHP and continues to have a separate board of directors.

What about The Eddy’s senior living (retirement) communities?

The new SPHP does not impact the Housing Division of The Eddy since it is a key component of the network and the need for independent senior housing and enriched housing/assisted living will only grow in the future.

How does this new entity impact the provision of home care services?

During 2011, St. Peter's and Seton closed their respective home care agencies and all home care services were organized under Eddy Visiting Nurse Association. In addition, St. Peter's Lifeline program was consolidated with The Eddy's Lifeline program. The integration of the three home care agencies, the first major integration of services, went extremely smoothly with little or no impact to staff or patients.

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