EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y.-The Central New York Hospital Association and Northeastern New York Hospital Council completed their merger last month. The newly consolidated Iroquois Healthcare Alliance represents 58 hospitals in the 32-county region (Nov. 27, 1995, p. 32). The alliance will engage in lobbying and advocacy activities. Iroquois Healthcare Association is the group's educational and grant-funded arm. As part of the state's recent passage of legislation to deregulate inpatient rates, IHA President Gary J. Fitzgerald said his group successfully lobbied for a regional approach to subsidizing "public goods." The subsidies were structured to help spare upstate hospitals from the higher costs of graduate medical education, bad debt and charity care incurred by New York City hospitals.
NEW YORK-The United Hospital Fund has awarded $20,000 planning grants to each of 12 New York City hospitals to help analyze and improve care for dying patients. The three-year, $2.2 million Hospital Palliative Care Initiative is supported by the Open Society Institute's Project on Death in America, the Greenwall Foundation and the JM Foundation. The United Hospital Fund, which has committed to funding $750,000 over the life of the project, says palliative care remains largely an unexplored dimension of hospital service. Unlike traditional hospital care that focuses on prolonging life, palliative care is aimed at relieving suffering and improving quality of life. At the end of the planning period, five hospitals that propose the most promising innovations will be awarded two-year grants averaging $225,000 to implement and evaluate the ideas.