The primary mission of the United Hospital Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, is to shape positive change in health care for the people of New York. Founded in 1879 to support voluntary hospitals and assist them in solving common problems, today the Fund works to advance policies and support programs that promote high-quality, patient-centered health care services that are accessible to all persons across the full spectrum of care.
The Fund undertakes research and policy analysis to improve financing and delivery of care in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other care settings. It raises funds and gives grants to examine emerging issues and stimulate innovative health care programs, and it works collaboratively with civic, professional, and volunteer leaders to identify and realize opportunities for change. The Next Step in Care campaign is one of the Fund’s many initiatives to improve patient care, especially for those most vulnerable. It is taking shape in New York, but is envisioned as national in scope.
The Fund created Next Step in Care in cooperation with health care providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care agencies, as well as family caregivers. How to better manage and improve transitions in care has been a focus of the Fund's Families and Health Care Project (see chronology) since it published "Rough Crossings: Family Caregivers' Odysseys through the Health Care System" in 1998. That report dealt with the challenges family caregivers face in patient care transitions and the poor communication and training that oten accompany hospital-to-home discharge.
More information about United Hospital Fund is available from its website.