Difficult Decisions About Post-Acute Care and Why They Matter

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Each year, approximately one in five hospital patients in the United States, including some 300,000 New Yorkers, require continued care following hospital stays for major surgery or serious illness. Yet too often, patients and their families do not have the critical information and support they need to carefully assess their options and make the best possible decisions. 

UHF has conducted a year-long inquiry, supported by the New York State Health Foundation, to better understand why hospital discharge planning can fall short despite well-intentioned efforts by hospital staff. The resulting Difficult Decisions series examines the challenges faced by patients and their families when arranging post-acute care.

This first report in the series takes a broad look at the many factors, including regulation, that make informed decision-making about post-acute care so challenging.

Forthcoming reports will focus on the experiences of patients and family caregivers, the perspectives of health care providers, and the best practices, innovations, and policy levers that could help support New Yorkers who need to make decisions about post-acute care.