Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act Reintroduced

Senate Sponsors Reintroduce Legislation to Expand the Availability of Palliative Care Services

May 19, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) reintroduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), which charges the federal government with expanding both the availability and scope of palliative care services across the country.

The bipartisan bill would increase federal research funding for palliative care, including pain and symptom management, and establish palliative care education and training programs for doctors, nurses and other health professionals. It would also create a national public education and awareness campaign to educate patients and providers about the availability and benefits of palliative care.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses that focuses on improving a patient’s quality of life through the relief of symptoms, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual. It works to improve the lives of cancer patients by providing an additional layer of support for patients and their families, clarifying the goals of care, and coordinating doctors, nurses and other specialists involved in their care during treatment.

The House of Representatives passed the bill last Congress.

A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), follows:

“We commend Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Shelley Moore Capito for working in a bipartisan way to reintroduce PCHETA and for giving cancer patients, survivors and others living with serious illnesses and chronic conditions hope for a future with greater access to palliative care services.

“Palliative care treats the whole person, not just the disease. With the reintroduction of PCHETA legislation in the Senate, we have the opportunity to make cancer patients’ journey less difficult by addressing the persistent barriers to palliative care that cancer patients continue to face.

“By building a workforce of doctors, nurses and other health providers trained in palliative care, increasing federal investments in relevant research, and drawing public awareness to their ability to access this critical form of medical care, PCHETA will help individuals with cancer continue to do the things they love and thrive amid their diagnosis and treatment.

“ACS CAN has long advocated for this critical bill and we urge the Senate to move quickly to pass this important legislation.”

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Allison Miller
Director, Media Advocacy
Washington, D.C.