A new National Poll on Healthy Aging published by the University of Michigan this month found that 59 percent of older adults have discussed advance care planning with family members and/or friends, and nearly one-third of them did so during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
State health policy leaders see enormous value in palliative care to promote good outcomes and avoid costly and unnecessary and often unwanted treatments for the seriously ill. As states weigh how to maintain and provide services in the face of lower revenue and increased demand due to COVID-19, palliative care may be an important – and underutilized – resource. NASHP research found striking examples of palliative care implementation, but also significant untapped opportunities for states to improve palliative care access and quality. This continuously expanding resource, created with generous support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, provides concrete resources for states working to implement and expand high-quality palliative care.
The Family Caregiving Advisory Council
The impact of the nation’s aging population on state budgets and policies cannot be addressed without understanding the needs of family caregivers. Under the RAISE Act, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services must develop a national Family Caregiving Strategy that recommends actions that different stakeholders can take to support family caregivers and meets their diverse needs. The RAISE Act also requires the secretary to convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to help inform and shape the strategy by providing recommendations to the secretary.
The council is charged with preparing a report for the secretary that includes effective models of family caregiving and support to family caregivers, as well as opportunities to improve coordination across federal government programs. The secretary will incorporate the council’s report in the strategy, in addition to identifying best practices and other information to support family caregivers. The RAISE Act requires the council to be made up of to 15 voting members who reflect the diversity of family caregivers and care recipients, as well as non-voting representatives from federal departments and agencies who play a role in this issue.
Council Meeting Materials and Resources
In August 2019, the council convened for its first meeting and members shared their guiding values and principles. Read the Family Caregiving Advisory Council Meeting Report for a comprehensive description of the meeting. Review the agenda for the day, which includes the PowerPoint presentations used by presenters during the meeting, and watch the full video of the council’s kick-off meeting.
State Policy Innovations to Support Family Caregivers: States are developing new initiatives to support family caregivers, who provide nearly $470 billion in unpaid health care support and services each year to relatives, friends, and neighbors. Passage of the federal Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage Family Caregivers (RAISE) Act underscores the urgent attention this issue requires. This blog, State Policy Innovations to Support Family Caregivers, written with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, explores Hawaii, Washington, and Minnesota’s innovative efforts to assist family caregivers.
Laura Gitlin, PhD
Dean, College of Nursing and Health Professions
Kathleen Kelly, MPA
Family Caregiver Alliance
Assistant Commissioner and Chief
TennCare Long-Term Services and Supports
Chief Executive Officer
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
National Managing Coordinator
Diverse Elders Coalition
Susan Reinhard, RN, PhD, FAAN
Senior Vice President and Director
AARP Public Policy Institute
David Reuben, MD
Director, Multi-campus Program in Geriatrics Medicine and Gerontology
Chief, Division of Geriatrics,
University of California, Los Angeles
North Carolina Medicaid
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services
C. Grace Whiting, JD
President and CEO
National Alliance for Caregiving
Jennifer Wolff, PhD
Eugene and Mildred Lipitz Professor and Director
Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care
Johns Hopkins University
For more information, contact Eliza Mette.
Palliative care helps individuals with serious illness better manage the symptoms and stressors of disease. These services are interdisciplinary, person- and family-centered, and can help people at any stage of a serious illness.
States are uniquely positioned to influence how Americans think about access, and experience palliative care.