The bill serves to address the workforce shortage and concerns over necessary training palliative care roles.
Legislation reintroduced this week by U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) would assist efforts to bolster the healthcare workforce, specifically those providing care to the elderly and more vulnerable patients.
Both Baldwin and Capito have served as caregivers for loved ones which, according to a statement released by Baldwin's Senate office, has shown them how valuable such services are.
"Our bipartisan Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) will make an overdue investment in education and research," Baldwin said, "to ensure doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals have the tools they need as they work tirelessly to keep patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses comfortable and safe."
The bill focuses on three areas:
- Workforce training: Supporting the training of interdisciplinary health professionals in palliative care, along with the training and retraining of faculty and providing students with clinical training
- Education and awareness: Sharing research and information with patients, families, and health professionals about the benefits of palliative care and the services that are available
- Enhanced research: Directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use existing authorities and funds to expand palliative care research to advance clinical practice and improve care delivery.
The bill has been co-sponsored by 12 other senators and is supported by more than 90 national and state organizations, including the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM).
"We urge Congress to recognize the importance of a well-trained, interprofessional healthcare team to providing coordinated, person-centered serious illness care and to act now to build a healthcare workforce more closely aligned with America's evolving healthcare needs—including future pandemics," Holly Yang, MD, MSHPEd, HMDC, FACP, FAAHPM, president of the AAHPM, said in a statement."
"Advancing PCHETA will go a long way toward improving quality of care and quality of life for our nation's sickest and most vulnerable patients, along with their families and caregivers."
“Advancing PCHETA will go a long way toward improving quality of care and quality of life for our nation's sickest and most vulnerable patients, along with their families and caregivers.”
Holly Yang, MD, MSHPEd, HMDC, FACP, FAAHPM, president, AAHPM
Jasmyne Ray is the revenue cycle editor at HealthLeaders.
The bill would increase efforts to grow the healthcare workforce, specifically those providing care to the elderly and more vulnerable patients, focusing on workforce training, education and awareness, and enhanced research.
It is co-sponsored by 12 other senators and supported by more than 90 national and state organizations.