Gov. Bevin Signs Palliative Care Legislation Into Law

Sen. Julie Raque Adams Legislation to Improve Patient Quality of Life Signed into Law by Gov. Matt Bevin

March 26, 2019

Frankfort, KY.–March 26, 2019–The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) commends Sen. Julie Raque Adams, the Kentucky general assembly and Gov. Matt Bevin for supporting legislation that will improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families through palliative care legislation.

The legislation authored by Sen. Raque Adams and supported by Sen. Ralph Alvarado seeks to establish a Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council and a Palliative Care Consumer and Professional Information and Education Program within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. These programs will emphasize patient awareness and overall access to palliative care. Kentucky is now the 25th state to pass palliative care legislation.

“Currently many patients and their families do not know about palliative care and how it could benefit them,” said Kristy Young, Kentucky government relations director for ACS CAN. “This bill will increase the demand for a system of care that has proven quality of life outcomes.”

The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family. It is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with the patient’s primary care physician and other physicians providing disease treatment to deliver an extra layer of support.  It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment to help patients get well faster and easier. 

Research indicates that palliative care systems improve health outcomes while reducing health care costs. Studies have shown coordinating patient care and treating pain and symptoms leads to increased patient and family satisfaction and decreases the time spent in intensive care units and the likelihood patients will be readmitted to hospitals. Kentucky is now the 25th state to pass palliative care legislation.

“On behalf of all Kentucky cancer patients, survivors and their families, I want to thank the bill sponsor Sen. Raque Adams, the Kentucky general assembly and Gov. Bevin for their support of this legislation,” said Young. “We look forward to working with the council to improve quality of life in Kentucky.”

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit


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