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WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 30, 2019)—On Oct. 28, the House of Representatives approved HR 647, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), legislation that would make improvements in the training, education and provision of palliative and hospice care. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has advocated for passage of this bill since it was introduced.
Specifically, PCHETA amends 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), as well as promotes education and research in palliative care and hospice and supports the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine.
In the previous congress PCHETA was approved by the House, but did not receive a vote in the Senate as concerns were raised by a small group of Senators with fears that legislation would allow for physician-assisted deaths from a federal perspective. Those concerns have since been alleviated.
NAHC has ardently advocated on PCHETA this congress, and in years past. Most recently NAHC led a letter of support endorsed by 35 state homecare and hospice associations, as well as over 50 other national associations and organizations.
Advocacy efforts will now turn towards the Senate as the upper chamber considers their companion bill of the legislation, S 2080. The association encourages all in the palliative care and hospice community to contact their Senators and urge their support for PCHETA. The NAHC Legislative Action Network has been updated with this most recent development and is available for contacting your Senators.