The Wisconsin Hospice and Palliative Care Association recently presented U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) with the organization’s 2022 “Champion of Hospice and Palliative Care” legislative award for her leadership in Congress on policies to strengthen the delivery of critical hospice and palliative care in Wisconsin and across the country. The award was presented to Sen. Balwin’s staff at the Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, WI.
“Senator Balwin has long been front and center on policy issues impacting hospice and palliative care, and we are thrilled to present her with our legislative award. It is certainly well-deserved,” said Lynne Sexten, WiHPCA Board Chair and President & CEO of Agrace Hospice. “As someone who was a primary caregiver to an elderly relative, Senator Baldwin knows firsthand the challenges and needs of our industry, and we certainly appreciate her work on behalf of the patients and families we serve.”
The “Champion of Hospice and Palliative Care” award is presented every two years to Wisconsin policymakers who exemplify WiHPCA’s mission of ensuring optimal outcomes and growing access to care for individuals facing life-limiting illness. Sen. Baldwin is the single recipient of the award in 2022. Lawmakers who receive the award must have exhibited an exceptional commitment to supporting hospice and palliative care based on several factors, including voting record, sponsorship of legislation, and responsiveness to critical issues important to the industry.
Senator Baldwin has long advocated in the halls of Congress for hospice and palliative care patients and their families and has been a strong supporter of hospice and palliative care providers. Most recently, Baldwin authored the bipartisan Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act to strengthen the hospice and palliative care workforce to meet growing demand for care for Americans facing life-threatening illnesses.
“There is a significant need to grow our nation’s hospice and palliative care workforce, so it is important for WiHPCA to recognize Senator Baldwin for her leadership on the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act,” concluded Sexten.
Following the award presentation, WiHPCA Board members Lynne Sexton, Karen Carrig, and Carrie Schepp, along with the WiHPCA Government Affairs Team, met with key members of Sen. Baldwin’s staff to discuss the association most pressing federal issues. The issues discussed included our concerns with the CMS Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) “Hospice Carve-In” pilot program, the administrative and financial burden of the nursing home room and board Medicaid pass-through billing requirement imposed on hospice care, and the need for expanded hospice telehealth flexibility.