Health on the Hill: Coalition to Transform Advanced Care Conference

October 12, 2016

The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) brings together healthcare providers, consumers, government officials and employees to exchange ideas about how to improve end-of-life care. Compassion & Choices recently enjoyed participating in C-TAC’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

The takeaway from the conference was that the days of demonizing end-of-life care conversations between terminally ill patients and their doctors as “death panels” are over. Many policymakers are ready to fully embrace and mobilize in support of bills – -at both the federal and state level — that put patients in charge of their care, especially at the end of life. We couldn’t agree more with this policy focus.

It’s time to pass legislation that improves end-of-life care and puts people in the driver’s seat of their own care. C-TAC and Compassion & Choices endorse many common bills, including the Palliative Care and Hospice Educational Training Act, Personalize Your Care Act, Compassionate Care Act, the Care Planning Act, Removing Barriers to Care Act and Independence at Home Act.

Many of the primary sponsors of these critical bills attended the conference, including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Phil Roe (R-TN). They are eager to work with the new president to enact their legislation into law. All of the bills they sponsor are common-sense bills that help people; they are not controversial measures. They improve Medicare, and they are the right thing to do. We want the next president to understand that these measures are easy to understand because most of them are fewer than 30 pages. Collectively, they can improve end-of-life care significantly.

One of the C-TAC conference panelists, Joseph Milano, MD, the medical director of Northwell Health, commented that one thing policymakers in Washington can do to make life easier for both patients with an advanced illness and their providers would be passing the Independence at Home Act. Compassion & Choices supports this legislation because it would enable Medicare to authorize primary care teams to deliver care for patients with an advanced illness, including long-term support services, in their home. When patients receive care delivered in their home instead of a clinical setting, it often is much more focused on what is most important to the person.

Compassion & Choices
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Sean Crowley
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Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
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(323) 819 0310

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