Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus will be the first to focus on expanding access to palliative care and issues impacting caregivers
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) today commended Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) for the planned launch of a Comprehensive Care Caucus this week, which will be dedicated to improving access to palliative care. The bipartisan caucus will be the first Senate caucus to focus on palliative care access and issues impacting caregivers.
“We appreciate that these Senators recognize the critical role of palliative care in the healthcare continuum and the need to expand access to this person-centered, coordinated care,” said Edo Banach, President and CEO of NHPCO. “As a palliative care leader, NHPCO is eager to work with Senate leaders to ensure more Americans facing serious and life-threatening illnesses can benefit from the physical and emotional support that palliative care provides.”
The launch of the Comprehensive Care Caucus will be recognized at a kick-off event this Wednesday, July 31, and will feature a panel discussion with palliative care experts. The panel will be moderated by Lori Bishop, Vice President of Palliative and Advanced Care for NHPCO and slated speakers include Keysha Brooks-Coley, Vice President of Federal Advocacy and Strategic Alliances at the American Cancer Society, Andrew MacPherson, Senior Advisor to the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) and Dr. Clevis Parker, Chief Medical Officer at Nathan Adelson Hospice.
The goal of the caucus is to raise awareness and work towards policy improvements in palliative and coordinated care areas while also addressing issues impacting caregivers. Palliative care utilizes interdisciplinary teams of providers who optimize quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Like hospice, palliative care involves addressing the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of a patient and their family. Furthermore, palliative care services often reduce stress, lower costs and improve outcomes for patients with serious illnesses or injuries.
Banach concluded that “NHPCO looks forward to working with the Comprehensive Care Caucus to address issues such as structural reform of the Medicare Hospice Benefit, adopting a standard statutory definition of coverage for community-based palliative care services, expanding access to hospice services in both rural and urban communities, and reducing regulatory burden while also protecting program integrity.”