Legislation would enhance care for Americans with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
On Monday, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) announced her support of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA). The bipartisan measure intends to increase, improve, and sustain the palliative and hospice care workforce in order to meet growing demand for this care.
“Our nation faces the unfortunate reality that it has a shortfall of palliative and hospice caregivers, which increases the burdens faced by those suffering from life-threatening illnesses, their families, and the healthcare system,” Senator Hyde-Smith said. “This legislation recommends strong, proactive steps to begin correcting this imbalance.”
PCHETA (S.4260) focuses on three key areas to develop a healthcare workforce more closely aligned with evolving healthcare needs, including: workforce training, education and awareness, and enhanced research.
The measure would amend the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools, social work schools, and other programs, including physician assistant education programs, to promote education and research in palliative care and hospice, and to support the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine.
More than 50 organizations support PCHETA, including the Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Children’s National Health System, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Hospice Action Network, Oncology Nursing Society, Susan G. Komen, and many others.
“This bipartisan legislation will make a difference in the lives of millions of patients living with serious or life-threatening illness and their caregivers,” the organizations supporting PCHETA wrote in a letter. “PCHETA would direct the implementation of a national education and awareness campaign so that patients, families, and health professionals understand the essential role of palliative care in ensuring high-quality care for individuals facing serious or life-threatening illness.”
“We appreciate your continued leadership on this important issue and look forward to working with you to advance PCHETA in the 117th Congress,” the organizations continued.
You can view a full copy of the bipartisan measure below.