Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Providing Technical Assistance to Expand Palliative Care in New York State Hospitals

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

August 1, 2009








Persons with serious, advanced illness and those at the end of life often confront a health care system that does not know how to meet their needs, which include the provision of expert symptom and pain management, well-communicated information, and improved quality of care.

Palliative care can help transition patients to more effective care, reducing their length of stay and providing a more appropriate setting for their health needs. Despite the opportunities for savings and improvements in care, less than 60% of New York State hospitals reported that they provided palliative care services. In 2009, NYHealth funded the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) to address this problem by working with the remaining 40% of New York State hospitals to establish a palliative care program at their hospitals. In addition, CAPC worked to enhance the long-term sustainability and quality of established palliative care programs.

Despite its potential to reduce costs and improve quality of care New York State hospitals lag behind in offering palliative care. Patients with advanced illnesses and those at the end of life account for roughly 5–7% of all hospital admissions, but represent 60% of all health care costs. Palliative care programs are a successful strategy for reducing these costs by providing pain and symptom management outside the ICU, and potentially reducing hospital readmissions. CAPC will work with New York State hospitals to establish new palliative care programs and strengthen existing ones. Online and audio conferences will be available for initial training, and further training will be provided through CAPC’s two-day seminars. Trainings at the Advanced Palliative Care Leadership Center will be available to those hospitals with new or established programs. CAPC estimates that this project will offer palliative care to more than 30,000 additional patients and generate more than $80 million in savings per year to hospitals.