WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and the Special Committee on Aging and a co-chair of the Comprehensive Care Caucus, announced her introduction of a bipartisan resolution to honor November as Hospice and Palliative Care Month. The resolution also unanimously passed the U.S. Senate last night. Fellow caucus co-chairs Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) are original co-sponsors of this resolution. Observed in November, National Hospice and Palliative Care Month is a time to honor the vital services that hospice and palliative care organizations provide to patients and their families facing serious illnesses and injuries:
“As someone who stepped back from my career to take care of my parents and in-laws as they got older and started to have serious health problems, I understand just how important it is for patients and families to have access to care that is compassionate and comprehensive,” said Senator Rosen. “We know that palliative care helps meet patient needs, and by observing National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, we will be able to give this very real issue the attention that it deserves. I am proud to be joined by my Comprehensive Care Caucus co-chairs to introduce this bipartisan resolution recognizing the importance of palliative care for patients, families, friends, and caregivers.”
BACKGROUND: Last June, Rosen introduced the bipartisan Provider Training in Palliative Care Act (S.1921) with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). This legislation would update the National Health Service Corps program to include palliative care medicine as an eligible primary care service.
Last July, Senators Rosen, Barrasso, Baldwin, and Fischer launched the bipartisan Comprehensive Care Caucus to raise the public’s awareness and promote the availability and benefits of palliative care, while also finding bipartisan solutions to expand access to palliative care services, improve coordinated care, and address issues impacting caregivers. The Caucus’ mission is to work to enhance access to palliative care services and improve the quality of life of millions of Americans managing serious illnesses.
This resolution (S.Res.783) is endorsed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), and the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation.
In response to the resolution, NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach stated:
“We thank Senator Rosen for spearheading this resolution passed by the U.S. Senate that recognizes the critically important work done by our nation’s hospice and palliative care provider community. President Ronald Reagan first recognized November as National Hospice Month over forty years ago and it’s heartening to see national recognition continue. Hospices have traditionally marked November as a time to celebrate their staff and volunteers and to engage with the communities they serve to increase awareness. It means a great deal to our entire provider community to have this validation of our work from the Senate.”