The Pew Charitable Trusts announced on June 12 its support for the Patient Choice and Quality Care Act, introduced by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Mark Warner (D-VA), and Representatives Phil Roe (R-TN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation contains provisions designed to help people make informed decisions about the types of medical care they want near the end of life and to better document those decisions.
One element in the bill instructs the secretary of health and human services to identify and prioritize the development of appropriate clinical measures for end-of-life care; such measures are needed to test interventions, evaluate clinicians, and drive improvements in the quality of care.
The bill also would authorize the administration to establish a grant program for states to work with medical schools, state medical associations, hospitals or health systems, faith-based organizations, and others to expand the use of advance care planning.
These provisions, along with others in the bill, would help ensure that the care patients receive at the end of life is consistent with their wishes.