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Engel Remarks on Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

Engel Remarks on Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, gave the following remarks, as prepared for delivery on his bill, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (H.R. 3119), during an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing:

“Thank you, Chairman Pitts and Ranking Member Green, for convening this important hearing.

“I’m so pleased to have an opportunity to discuss H.R. 3119, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, a bill I introduced with Congressman Tom Reed, my colleague from New York.

“Every one of us has been touched by serious illness. Whether we have been affected personally, or stood by a loved one grappling with critical illness, we all know how physically and emotionally trying such situations can be for all those involved.

“Palliative care aims to relieve these stresses. It complements efforts to treat or cure illness by focusing on patients’ quality of life. Palliative care is appropriate for patients with serious illness starting at the point of diagnosis, through treatment, and onward through hospice and the end of life. It involves capable communication with patients and their families to coordinate care, determine preferences and help with medical decision-making throughout the care continuum.

“Despite the benefits of palliative care, many Americans aren’t aware of the supports available to them. In addition, there is a shortage of educated providers who can offer quality palliative care.

“H.R. 3119 aims to remedy these issues.

“My bill would expand opportunities for training in palliative and hospice care and offer incentives to attract and retain providers. In addition, through existing programs, my bill would create a national campaign to educate patients, families and health professionals about the benefits of palliative care. Finally, H.R. 3119 would expand critically-needed research on palliative care at the National Institutes of Health.

“I want to thank Chairman Upton, Chairman Pitts, Ranking Member Pallone and Ranking Member Green for considering this important bill. I’d also like to thank the 200 Members of the House who have cosponsored it, including several Members of this Committee.

“I hope today’s discussion will bring us one step closer to enacting this legislation and extraordinarily improving patients’ quality of life.”

For the hearing notice and witness testimony, see here.

For a video link to Congressman Engel’s committee remarks, click here.

For a letter from 45 organizations in support of H.R. 3119, see attachment.