Yesterday, July 19, AAHPM’s efforts in crafting legislation aimed at expanding opportunities for interdisciplinary education and training in palliative care came to fruition when the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) was introduced in the United States Congress. The bill was introduced as S.3407 by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and as H.R.6155 by Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY17). (Read a summary of the bill.)

Here I am meeting with Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt on July 17. I was one of 21 Academy physicians to take part in AAHPM’s Capitol Hill Days on July 16-18. We met with our representatives in Congress and their staff to help them learn more about palliative care and hospice and to encourage their support of the PCHETA bill.

What do you need to do?

Contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to support the bill. Better yet, ask them to sign on as a cosponsor of the legislation. You can help ensure this legislation has the positive momentum that is so critical to moving it forward.

Contacting your elected officials is easy using AAHPM’s Legislative Action Center.

Got Concerns?

Here are the TOP 5 Myths about policy advocacy debunked-

  1. Myth: I’m Too Busy: This is important. Imagine how busy you will be in a few years with more patients needing palliative care but no increase in the workforce. Take the time.
  2. Myth: It will take too long: The Academy has set up a quick and easy-to-use interface to reach your legislators. Have plenty of time? Great, personalize your response. But even if no time, you can do this in just a couple of minutes. Do it now.
  3. Myth: My voice doesn’t matter: It does. You are a constituent. Hearing your voice is key. Take the time
  4. Myth: I’m from the wrong political party: This is not a partisan issue. The needs of our patients transcend party. Tell the story of helping patients. This can be done.
  5. Myth: The timing of the bill is wrong: In truth, moving from a bill to law is going to take time. It will not happen overnight. But it has to start. And you taking the time to develop a relationship with your elected officials and their staff will help speed the process along.

Got More Concerns?

Then getting involved with advocacy may be right up you alley. Contact Patrick Hermes, AAHPM Manager of Health Policy & Advocacy.And the next time you see the AAHPM staff, thank them for their hard work on this.

Paul Tatum, MD FAAHPM