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ABOUT PQLC

Palliative care is the relief of pain and suffering for individuals living with serious illness. It’s a team–based approach, providing an extra layer of support at any age or stage of illness, often together with curative treatment.

The Patient Quality of Life Coalition was formed to advance the interests of patients and families facing serious illness, including survivors.

The Coalition includes more than 40 nongovernmental organizations dedicated to improving quality of care and quality of life for these adults and children.

The Coalition has developed a consensus-based agenda aimed at promoting public policy that will improve and expand access to high-quality palliative care.

The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the stage of the disease or the need for other therapies.

It focuses on relief of the pain, symptoms, and stress of serious illness and on improving communication with patients and families.

Provided by a team of clinicians and specialists who work with the patient’s regular physicians to provide an extra layer of support, palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness.

It can be provided wherever a patient is seen and can be provided together with curative treatment.

To see more, please see our Resources page.

Palliative care holds the potential to transform the U.S. health care system and improve quality of life for the 90 million Americans living today with serious illness–a number that is expected to double in the next 20 years, according to Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.

Despite enormous expenditures, studies show that patients with serious illness and their families receive poor-quality medical care that is characterized by inadequately treated symptoms, fragmented care, poor communication with health care providers, and enormous strains on family members or other caregivers.

To see more, please see our Resources page.

By focusing on priorities that matter most to patients and their families, palliative care has been shown to improve both quality of care and quality of life during and after treatment.

Because their needs are met, patients receiving palliative care avoid crises, spend fewer days in the hospital, ED and ICU, and need fewer re-admissions.

In fact, recent studies have demonstrated that high-quality palliative care not only improves quality of life and patient and family satisfaction, but it can also prolong survival.

Palliative care achieves these outcomes at a lower cost than usual care by helping patients better understand their needs, choose the most effective treatments and avoid unnecessary or unwanted hospitalizations and interventions.

To see more, please see our Resources page.

The Patient Quality of Life Coalition urges legislative and regulatory change that will:

  1. Advance patient, family and public understanding of how palliative care improves both quality of care and quality of life.
  2. Develop a well-trained workforce to ensure ufficient numbers of health care professionals, with appropriate training and skills, are available to teach and to directly provide palliative care.
  3. Invest in research necessary to establish a strong evidence base for the delivery of high-quality palliative care.
  4. Expand the delivery of high-quality palliative care in hospitals, nursing homes and community settings through improved data collection, quality measurement, and appropriate provider payment.
  5. Ensure timely access to prescription medication necessary for effective management of pain and other distressing symptoms in patients with legitimate need.

In the 114th Congress, the coalition is working to gain support for and pass H.R. 3119 & S. 2748, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act.

Click on the following link to download a summary of PCHETA legislation, H.R. 3119 / S. 2748:
PCHETA Bill Summary with Current Cosponsors

Or, visit Congress.gov and search for the latest on H.R. 3119 or S. 2748

In the 113th Congress, the coalition worked in support of two bills:

PCQCLA, H.R. 1666 / S. 2800
PCHETA, H.R. 1339 / S. 641

PQLC was formed in 2013 and consists of groups representing patients, survivors, family caregivers, hospitals, health systems, hospices, physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and researchers.

To find out more, visit our Members page.