Who We Are

What is the North Country Initiative?

north country initiative

The North Country Initiative — or “NCI” for short — is a partnership of hospitals, independent physicians and community providers working together to reform the health care system across northern New York’s Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

With the health care system undergoing significant change at both state and national levels, we are working together to align incentives across our rural region, create clinical programs and develop necessary health technology infrastructure. We believe that cooperating on all of these strategies will improve the health of our community, reduce the cost of health care and improve care for patients.

Much of our everyday work is grounded in working toward four key goals:

  • Improving the quality and efficiency of care for the rural, under-served population
  • Providing accessible, effective, high-quality health care
  • Aligning health system partners with payers to drive clinical improvement and add value to patients
  • Implementing evidence-based medicine to enhance patient outcomes


Our agency is one of 25 “Performing Provider Systems” participating in New York’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program. This program, commonly abbreviated to “DSRIP,” is a five-year initiative that aims to transform and improve health care for New York’s Medicaid population. Together with our partners, we have chosen 11 different DSRIP projects, which focus on:

  1. Creating an Integrated Delivery System
  2. Creating Medical Villages using existing hospital infrastructure
  3. Implementing Care Transition protocols to reduce hospital readmissions
  4. Engaging the Medicaid population through Patient Activation measures
  5. Integrating primary care and behavioral health
  6. Using evidence-based strategies for cardiovascular disease management
  7. Using evidence-based strategies to manage diabetes
  8. Creating community resources for chronic disease management
  9. Strengthening mental health and substance abuse resources
  10. Increasing access to preventive care across the region, in both clinical and community settings
  11. Transforming primary care offices through the Patient Centered Medical Home model

For more information about the DSRIP program, click here.


public reportingHealthCare Partners of the North Country is our region’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO), aiming to align with federal policy reform and transformation.  ACOs exist to improve the quality of care for our Medicare population while focusing on strategies that reduce the cost of care.

Currently, HealthCare Partners of the North Country is aligning its efforts with the DSRIP program and working on strategies that are entirely patient-focused. Those strategies include care coordination, improving on annual wellness reviews, clinical management through national evidence-based guidelines as well as improving collaboration among our health care partners.

For more information about our ACO, click here.