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The New World of
Palliative Care
State of Reform Conference
January 8, 2015
Barbara Flye, American Cancer
Society Cancer Action Network
[email protected]
Today’s Presentation
1. Understanding the patient landscape
2. Why is palliative care so important?
3. What issues/challenges do we face in
ensuring access to palliative care
4. What can policy makers do to increase
awareness and access to palliative care?
Patient Landscape: Cancer
Survivor numbers now and looking ahead
The American Cancer
Society’s 2014 Cancer Facts &
Figures Statistics Report
 1.67 million new cancer
cases and 585,720 cancer
deaths annually
 14 million survivors now.
This will jump to 18 million
by 2022
 Nearly 380,000 cancer
survivors of childhood and
adolescent cancer
 Most experience persisting
pain, symptoms and stress
that affect quality of life
for both patient AND loved
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care…
 Focuses on relieving the pain, symptoms,
and stress of a serious illness – whatever the
 The goal is to improve quality of life for
both the patient and the family.
 It is appropriate at any age and at any stage
and can be provided along with curative
Definition developed through consumer research commissioned by CAPC and the
Society/ACS CAN. Shareable summary of findings available at
Why is Palliative Care Important?
FACT: Treating the
pain, symptoms,
and stress of
cancer is as
important as
treating the
The Benefits of Palliative Care
• Palliative care improves the quality of
health care
 Effectively relieves physical
symptoms and emotional suffering
 Strengthens patient-family-physician
communication and decision making
 Ensures well-coordinated care across
health care settings
Consumer Awareness about Palliative Care
Data from a Public Opinion Strategies nationwide survey, June 2011
Patients & Families Want Palliative Care
What issues and challenges do we face?
• Unprecedented growth of an aging population &
ability to live longer lives with serious illnesses
• Necessity to recognize & treat pain & other
distressing symptoms
• Many in the health care industry still confuse or
frame palliative care as end-of-life care
• Lack of awareness among patients with serious
• Availability & access to culturally competent PC
• Integrating PC into routine cancer care requires a
fundamental shift in thinking and practice.
Promoting & Raising Awareness of Palliative Care
 Federal legislation
Patient-Centered Quality Care for Life Act
(HR 1666)
Palliative Care & Hospice Education and
Training Act (HR 1339/S 641)
 State palliative care model
 Promoting balance in federal and
state pain policies
For campaign information: