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Partners Health Plan and Care Design NY Sponsor Special Olympics NY Night Of Champions

Partners Health Plan and Care Design NY were proud to sponsor the Special Olympics NY Night of Champions and the “Game Changers” that were recognized for their work on vaccinations, leadership, and support of unified sports. 

We were very fortunate to work with NYSID, the Center for Disability Services, and other community partners to prioritize individuals with disabilities for vaccination.

Congratulations to the 2021 Game Changers: Senator John Mannion, NYSID President and CEO Maureen O’Brien and NYSED Deputy Education Commissioner Ceylane Myers-Ruff and all the athletes! 

Advocate For The Better Care Better Jobs Act

The American Network of Community Options & Resources (ANCOR) is leading an advocacy effort to advance the Better Care Better Jobs Act in the U.S. Congress.

If enacted, funding will be invested in the HCBS programs, which would include the workforce; a historic investment in the care economy.

Click here to access the advocacy action tool to tell your members of Congress to support the Better Care Better Jobs Act by signing on as co-sponsors.

OPWDD Update On American Rescue Plan Funding (FMAP) Submission To CMS

New York State submitted a spending plan to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) for implementation of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  You can learn more on the New York State Department of Health website:

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021  Section 9817:
Additional Support for Medicaid HCBS during the COVID-19 Emergency

New York State Spending Plan July 2021

CMS Guidance on the Implementation.

The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) invited public comments to help plan the future of the service system.  You can learn more by visiting their website:  click here for OPWDD public comments.

Partners Health Plan and Care Design NY Provide OPWDD with Valuable Input

Partners Health Plan and Care Design NY Provide Valuable Input on the Statewide Comprehensive 5.07 Plan

CLICK HERE for the letter to Commissioner Kastner from Kerry Delaney, CEO, Partners Health Plan and Jim Moran, CEO, Care Design NY providing OPWDD with recommendations to guide the planning, resource allocation and evaluation processes on the development of a statewide comprehensive plan of services in accordance with 5.07 of the NYS Mental Hygiene Law for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Partners Health Plan is the only fully integrated provider-led managed care model in the State that provides a cohesive 360-degree platform for the care and support required by the complex I/DD population. The high touch two-person care coordination team allows individuals to access services providing them with the greatest flexibility and quality outcomes.

New Partnership Improves Care and Reduces Costs for People with Disabilities

Partners Health Plan (PHP) and StationMD launched a partnership to improve access to medical care for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), which includes those with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism and other physical and mental impairments. One year of data demonstrated that the partnership significantly reduced the need for Emergency Room (ER) visits and hospitalization, thus reducing medical costs for patients and payers.

PHP is a managed care organization dedicated solely to providing support and services to 1,750 individuals with I/DD in the New York downstate region. PHP currently has approximately 1,100 members who have access to the StationMD telehealth technology. StationMD is a telemedicine company specializing in serving people with I/DD across the country.

“Our son has significant medical needs from a neurological impairment. At the height of the pandemic, he suddenly started clenching his jaw, and he stopped engaging with us. He needed immediate medical assistance, but a trip to the ER could have been devastating to his safety and well-being. Through our PHP telemedicine benefit, a StationMD physician provided immediate, informed, and sensitive support, and navigated us through this critical neurological episode without us ever leaving home,” said Maria Pizzano, whose son participated in a virtual visit with StationMD.

The 12-month pilot program demonstrated:

  • Of the approximately 1,100 PHP members who have access to the StationMD’s telehealth service, there were 679 calls to StationMD.
  • StationMD was able to resolve 90% of patients’ medical matters virtually.
  • Over 12 months, the specialized service allowed:
    • PHP to avoid spending up to $2.2 million in ER and hospitalization costs
    • PHP to avoid spending up to $20,800 in transportation costs
    • A savings of up to $1,900 per member on medical cost

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the chances of dying from COVID-19 are higher for those with I/DD than they are for people with congestive heart failure, kidney disease or lung disease. At the onset of the pandemic, it was critical for the health and safety of PHP’s members to have a telehealth partner specializing in I/DD patient care to help them avoid unnecessary hospital visits where they could be exposed to coronavirus.

“We are thrilled with the StationMD partnership in helping our members avoid disorienting—even traumatic—visits to the ER 90% of the time. Their ability to bring specialized doctors to a virtual examination room allowed our members to get the medical care they needed without the anxiety associated with a trip to the ER and delays in receiving care services and treatments. This is a clear example of rethinking health care in a person-centered manner,” stated Kerry Delaney, CEO of Partners Health Plan.

“Our model bridges people with I/DD to doctors who are best-trained to meet their needs, and that translates to better health outcomes. This specialized telemedicine model is providing people with I/DD a better standard of care while solving access issues. It also eases the pressure on support professionals and families,” said Dr. Maulik Trivedi, MD, Chief Strategy Officer at StationMD.

While COVID-19 was a catalyst for launching the partnership, this approach addresses the regular medical concerns people with I/DD encounter on any given day. The service can be used for urgent matters like fevers, seizures, mental health issues, and for routine matters such as a prescription refill. Improving healthcare access has been a life-saving measure for individuals with I/DD, their direct support professionals, and families during this time. As the demand for flexible and affordable I/DD home and community-based services grows, people with I/DD and their families now have a model that can be expanded to achieve this end.



About Partners Health Plan
Partners Health Plan (PHP) is the first-in-the-nation, provider-led managed care organization that fully integrates Medicare and Medicaid for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), so they have the most complete care package. PHP provides person-centered care for whole-person wellness addressing the physical, behavioral, and social needs of individuals to assist them in living a quality life. For more information, visit

About StationMD
StationMD is a telemedicine solution that specializes in serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It offers immediate access at any time to high-quality, board-certified doctors who are specially trained in the medical care and challenges of individuals with I/DD. StationMD currently serves ~30,000 individuals across 12 states. Learn more at, and follow along via Twitter and on Facebook and LinkedIn.


Paige Bagby, StationMD


Partners Health Plan Voted Best Presentation at NYSTEC Conference on Telehealth

On Wednesday, June 23, Partners Health Plan’s Director of Healthcare Programs, Scott Doolan, presented an overview of PHP’s telemedicine program and its outcomes at the NYSTEC conference on Telehealth, Innovation and Success. Conference attendees voted on multiple criteria and PHP was awarded $2,500 for best presentation which they will donate to a charitable organization.

Partners Health Plan (PHP) and StationMD launched a partnership to improve access to medical care for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) using a specialized telemedicine model. One year of data demonstrated that the partnership significantly reduced the need for ER visits and hospitalization, thus reducing medical costs for patients and payers.

Scott Doolan, RN BSN, MBA
Director of Healthcare Programs


Individuals with I/DD Tell Their Story About the Decision to be Vaccinated

Listen To This Powerful (14-Minute) Video

As several staff working with people with developmental and intellectual disabilities tell their story about the decision to be vaccinated.

New York State took a victory lap last week in announcing that 70% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. We invite you to watch the video above that the NY Alliance created with contributors from AHRC Suffolk, Creative Lifestyles, HeartShare, Living Resources, Regional Centers for Workforce Transformation The ARC of Monroe and The ARC, Greater Hudson Valley.

Information Sessions

Learn More about Partners Health Plan at a Virtual Open House

For your convenience, Virtual Open Houses will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday’s of each each week from June – December 2021. Presentations will be offered via Microsoft Teams, and a link to use to join the presentation will be emailed to you upon registration.

June 2021

June 21 & 28
12:00-1:30 PM
June 22 & 29
7:00 – 8:30 PM
June 24
10:00 – 11:30 AM

September 2021

September 6, 13, 20 & 27
12:00 – 1:30PM
September 7, 14, 21 & 28
7:00 – 8:30PM
September 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
10:00 – 11:30AM

December 2021

December 6, 13, 20 & 27
12:00 – 1:30PM
December 7, 14, 21 & 28
7:00 – 8:30PM
December 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
10:00 – 11:30AM

July 2021

July 5, 12, 19 & 26
12:00 – 1:30PM
July 6, 13, 20 & 27
7:00 – 8:30PM
July 8, 15, 22 & 29
10:00 – 11:30AM

October 2021

October 4, 11, 18 & 25
12:00 – 1:30PM
October 5, 12, 19 & 26
7:00 – 8:30PM
October 7, 14, 21 & 28
10:00 – 11:30AM

August 2021

August 2, 9, 16 , 23 & 30
12:00 – 1:30PM
August 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31
7:00 – 8:30PM
August 5, 12, 19 & 26
10:00 – 11:30AM

November 2021

November 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
12:00 – 1:30PM
November 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
7:00 – 8:30PM
November 4, 11, 18 & 25
10:00 – 11:30AM

Open House Dates 2021

COVID-19 & You

COVID-19 & You

What is COVID-19?

It is a new viral disease where the CO stands for “corona”, the VI for “virus”, the “D” for disease and the 19 for “2019” that is spreading around the world.

How does COVID-19 spread?

It primarily spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks and is in close contact within less than 6 feet. If these droplets get into your mouth, nose, or eyes either directly or if droplets are on your hands and you touch these areas they can cause COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
  • Fever or Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell

These symptoms may occur 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

How can I avoid getting COVID-19?
  • In your house stay 6 feet away from anyone who is sick and if you can’t wear a mask
  • Outside your house social distance, which means staying 6 feet away from other people
  • Outside your house always wear a mask to protect yourself and others
  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds (sing happy birthday twice) each time
  • If soap and water are not readily available, you can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Always avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, tables, faucets and phones daily
Testing for COVID-19
  • There are two kinds of tests, one for the virus and one for the antibodies from the virus
  • The viral test tells you if you are currently infected with COVID
  • The antibody test tells you if you have had COVID in the past. Having antibodies might give you some protection from getting infected in the future, but we don’t yet know how much protection or how long the antibodies will last.
  • Currently in New York State anyone can get tested if they want to whether or not they have symptoms
  • You should get tested if you have symptoms, have been exposed to someone who has COVID, or if you have traveled from an area listed under the travel advisory at the NYS Dept of Health
What do I do if I get sick?
  • Call your PCP’s office, do not go to the office without calling first
  • Isolate yourself from people you are living with and wear a mask
  • If you can’t reach your PCP:
Where can I find more information?

From the CDC Website:


PHP Members have 24/7 access to Telehealth where you can speak with an Emergency Room Doctor if you start to get symptoms. In most cases this will prevent a trip to the emergency room


Prepping for Flu Season

The Flu & You

Who should get the FLU SHOT?

The Flu shot (influenza vaccination) is recommended annually for EVERYONE who is 6 months or older.

What are the symptoms of the Flu?
  • Fever or feeling feverish
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Why should I get the Flu shot?
  • Having your annual Flu Shot can stop you from getting symptoms of the Flu.
  • It is especially important this year as the symptoms of the flu are very similar to the symptoms of COVID-19. Having the flu shot can prevent you from becoming ill with the flu and reduce the risk of confusion with COVID-19.
  • Without the flu shot and with the added risk of COVID-19 your chances for severe illness and even death increase significantly.
  • If you get the flu shot, there is a small chance you might still get the flu. However, if you do, your illness is usually mild and lasts for a shortened period of time.
When should I get my Flu Shot?

You should get your flu shot as early in the season as possible. The season begins in September, and the earlier in the season you get it the lower your risk is of becoming ill. However, even if you cannot get your flu shot early you should still get it anytime during the flu season which lasts until April.

Where can I get my Flu Shot?
  • Your PCP’s office.
  • Large Pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aide, Duane Reade and often your local pharmacy.
  • No matter where you get the shot PHP will pay for it. Bring your PHP Insurance Card.
  • If you need help finding a location or scheduling an appointment call your PHP Care Team.
Speak to your Doctor before getting a Flu shot if:
  • You have an allergy to eggs.
  • You are feeling unwell when you want to get the Flu Shot.
  • You have had a bad reaction in the past to the Flu Shot.
  • You ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralyzing illness).
Where can I find more information?

Your Doctor or your Care Team can answer your questions about the Flu and the Flu Shot.

From the CDC website:


PHP Members have 24/7 access to Telehealth where you can speak with an Emergency Room Doctor if you start to get symptoms.

In most cases this will prevent a trip to the emergency room and unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.

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