Action Center

Support the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

Please send a message in support of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (or PCHETA, S. 693 and H.R. 1676). The bill has passed the U.S. House and is now in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. It has broad bi-partisan support in both the House (with 260 co-sponsors) and the Senate (with 29 co-sponsors).
 
Research from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) indicates there is a shortage of adequately trained hospice or palliative care providers. Moreover, the current rates of educating and training medical professionals in palliative care will not be sufficient to ensure aging Americans access to quality palliative care.
 
Additionally, a 2017 study by the George Washington University Healthcare Institute estimates that there will be no more than one percent growth in the palliative care and hospice physician workforce in the next 20 years, while the number of people eligible for palliative care will increase by over 20 percent. Without a boost for palliative care education and training, there will be only one palliative physician for every 26,000 seriously ill patients by 2030.
 
The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (or PCHETA, S. 693 and H.R. 1676) addresses this problem by establishing palliative care workforce training programs for doctors, nurses and other health professionals and informing patients, families and health professionals about the benefits of palliative care.
 
This bill also has a provision (Sec. 6) that ensures that "none of the funds made available under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to provide, promote, or provide training with regard to assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing."
 
Both hospice and palliative care are delivered by a multidisciplinary team including doctors and nurses, social workers, pharmacists, ministers and volunteers. The goal of both hospice and palliative care practices are to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
 
Patients can receive palliative care at the same time they receive medical treatment aimed at a cure or to prolong life. Hospice care, which focuses on the quality of life for people who are dying, is for those patients who accept they have a terminal illness and allows the natural dying process to occur, ceasing curative treatments while at the same time providing support through various means to alleviate physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual pain, suffering and to make the most of the time they have left.
 
Please send a message to Sen. Ernst and Sen. Grassley in support of the bill.
 

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