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Letter: Support for Legislation that Would Improve Care for Alzheimer’s Patients

August 27, 2017 | By CAPC Staff

Update: On June 27, 2018 the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA). This legislation will authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants or contracts for Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers, promote the career development of nurses and physicians in palliative care through fellowship funding and academic career awards, and promote research and outreach in the delivery of care for patient with serious or life-threatening illness.

Support for the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA)—recently reintroduced in Congress—is growing. Members of the public are beginning to flood newspapers with their takes on why this act would be beneficial for patients facing serious illness. In a recent piece in the Denver Post, reader Ryann Peyton discusses how this act would specifically help Alzheimer’s patients in Colorado.

“There are 244,000 people in Colorado caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. As someone who has served in this role, I am proud to support PCHETA,” says Peyton.

PCHETA would ensure America has an adequate, well-trained palliative care and hospice workforce through worker training, education and awareness, and enhanced research. These are critical services for persons in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. Recently, a number of studies have concluded that hospitalization is not recommended for individuals with advanced dementia given the life expectancy of the individual, the significant burdens of aggressive treatment, and the difficulty of pain management for those who cannot communicate in the hospital setting.

“PCHETA will help ensure that the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s have access to quality care,” says Peyton. In the piece, Peyton thanks Rep. Diana DeGette and Sen. Michael Bennet for their active support of PCHETA. Click here to read the full piece.

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