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Palliative care bill unanimously approved by House

​ACS CAN urges Senate  to do the same

On Oct. 28, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA). The bipartisan bill would increase federal research funding for palliative care, including pain and symptom management, and would 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.

The PCHETA legislation is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 294 House lawmakers and was voted out of the House with unanimous support. The bill’s passage in the House of Representatives clears the way for Senate consideration.

A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN, follows:

“We commend House lawmakers for working in a bipartisan way to pass PCHETA and give cancer patients, survivors, and others living with serious illnesses and chronic conditions hope for a future with greater access to palliative care services. With 294 bipartisan cosponsors and unanimous approval by the House, it’s clear elected officials recognize the critical role palliative care plays in improving the coordination of care and quality of life for their constituents living with serious illnesses, like cancer.

"There is a serious need for investment in policies that will enhance and increase access to palliative care services. The PCHETA legislation seeks to expand patient awareness of, and access to, palliative care while improving care coordination to provide an extra layer of support for patients and families from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. Additionally, the PCHETA legislation will greatly aid in developing more robust pain and symptom management training programs, while also bolstering federal pain research efforts at the National Institutes of Health.

“ACS CAN and the Patient Quality of Life Coalition (PQLC) have long advocated for this critical bill. We urge the Senate to move quickly to pass this important legislation in a bipartisan manner.”

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