NHPCO Urges Swift Congressional Action on PCHETA

Categories: Policy.

Group Advocates for Immediate Action

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) today urged the House of Representatives to expedite the passage of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), a bipartisan bill to promote education and research in hospice and palliative care. This legislation, H.R. 647, recently garnered a record 290 co-sponsors.

“With its broad bipartisan support and an expansive list of supporting organizations, PCHETA is exactly the type of bipartisan bill that should be moved,” said Edo Banach, President and CEO of NHPCO. “We now call on Congress to pass PCHETA and take this significant first step to ensure access to holistic palliative and hospice care for all Americans.”

PCHETA would expand palliative care education programs by funding education centers and sponsoring fellowship programs, promote research in palliative and hospice care, and support academic palliative medicine.

Estimates indicate that without changes like those made in PCHETA, the palliative care and hospice physician workforce will grow just a little over one percent over the next 20 years. Meanwhile, in that same period, the number of people eligible for palliative care will increase by more than 20 percent.

“This projected workforce shortage is a stark reminder that along with our aging population comes the need to revisit Medicare policies and address how we will meet the growing demand for person-centered care, particularly when it comes to rules and regulations governing both palliative care and hospice care,” continued Banach. “NHPCO is committed to working with the Administration and Congress to strengthen and make more transparent the tools and data needed to empower consumers when they are choosing a quality hospice and palliative care program.”

Hospice and palliative care are both person-centered models of care that address patients’ physical, emotional, psychosocial, spiritual and familial needs. Both hospice and palliative care utilize interdisciplinary teams of providers who optimize quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering.

To learn more about the My Hospice campaign, please visit the Hospice Action Network website.

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