New Legislation Would Expand Palliative Care Training for National Health Service Corps Providers

Posted Sunday, October 3, 2021

On Wednesday, September 29, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), both members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, announced the introduction of their Provider Training in Palliative Care Act. This bipartisan legislation would allow members of the National Health Service Corps to defer their service for up to a year to do additional training in palliative care.

The Provider Training in Palliative Care Act is endorsed by MAHC, key stakeholders, including AARP, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, C-TAC, National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care, National Rural Health Association, and American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

“As someone who stepped back from my career to take care of my parents and in-laws as they got older and started to have serious health problems, I understand just how important it is for patients and families to have access to care that is compassionate and comprehensive,” said Senator Rosen. “Palliative care helps provide comfort, manage pain and improve overall quality of life, yet providers are in short supply in Nevada and across the country. This important legislation will help fill health care gaps in Nevada caused by our doctor shortage by offering primary care providers a chance to receive training in palliative care so that they can better meet patient needs in underserved communities.”

“Unfortunately, projected shortages in providers trained in palliative care will likely have an outsized impact for Alaskans, as we already face such substantial challenges with access to providers. For patients with severe illness, the goal of palliative care is to minimize pain and discomfort while maximizing quality of life – a reality that will only exist if we have an adequate number of quality, professional caretakers,” said Senator Murkowski. “This legislation opens the door to primary care providers who want to train in palliative care, increasing the number of people trained in underserved areas all while ensuring the definition of primary care doesn’t change. We’re putting Alaskans with serious illnesses first.”

Source: NAHC

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