Policy Resources

As federal and state stakeholders respond to increasing pressure to improve the health care system for seriously ill people, there are several policy opportunities to expand access to palliative care. 

Key Federal Policy Areas

Despite the evidence for the value of palliative care, significant gaps in workforce, research, quality, payment, and health information technology remain. Legislative and regulatory actions are needed.

  • Establish centers to develop and disseminate curricula
  • Establish career incentive awards for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals
  • Reform graduate medical education (GME) funding to increase residencies in palliative care
  • Incentivize skills training in communications and pain/symptom management
  • Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) 115th Congress:
    H.R. 1676, S. 693
  • Develop a national research strategy that addresses quality of care and quality of life for patients with serious illness
  • Develop specific program announcements targeted to palliative care research priorities
  • Develop a Center for Scientific Review for serious illness
  • Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) 115th Congress: H.R. 1676, S. 693
Quality and Payment
  • Direct CMS to include relevant palliative care and serious illness measures in all value-based programs
  • Allocate funding to develop new quality measures for serious illness
  • Revise Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys to accommodate the voice of seriously ill individuals and their families
Health Information and Technology
  • Direct the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to create a certified health electronic record technology (CEHRT) standard that requires an immediately-accessible link to any advance care planning document within an electronic health record

The following resources provide more information on federal policy gaps and highlight notable activity:

Palliative Care Initiatives at the State Level

State policymakers are increasingly recognizing the value of palliative care—not only to the local health care delivery system, but also to employers and families—and are spearheading legislation and other policy initiatives to increase access within their states.

More information on current state activities and recommendations:


Learn More about CAPC's Policy Efforts

CAPC works with policymakers, advocates, and stakeholders at all levels to promote best practices in serious illness care. Contact us to learn how CAPC can help your organization.

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