Legislative Update: Assembly Approves Palliative Care Council Bill

February 21, 2024 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

On February 20, the full Assembly passed the Palliative Care Council Bill (AB 736) on a voice vote. While that is great news, significant challenges remain in the Senate.

On February 1, the Senate Committee on Government Operations held a hearing on Senate Bill 703, which would create a state Palliative Care Council to advise the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and provide recurring reports to the Legislature.  In particular, the proposed palliative care council would work with DHS on analyzing existing palliative care programs, as well as identifying ways in which health care providers could improve the quality of life for patients throughout our state. 

In addition to the authors of this legislation, Senator Jesse James (R-Eau Claire Area) and Representative Patrick Snyder (R-Wausau), the following individuals testified in favor of the bill at the February 1 Senate hearing:

  • Danielle DiGennaro, Director of Supportive Care, Agrace (WiHPCA Representative)
  • Najmus Liang, MD, Medical Director – Wisconsin, VITAS Healthcare (WiHPCA Representative)
  • Sara Sahli, Government Relations Director-Wisconsin, American Cancer Society
  • Carrie Schepp, General Manager – Wisconsin, VITAS Healthcare (WiHPCA Representative)

Several volunteers with the American Cancer Society’s Action Network also submitted written testimony in support of this legislation.

The WiHPCA Government Affairs Team is working with the chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee to pass the bill out of committee, but he has reservations with the legislation. WiHPCA will continue to keep members updated on the bill’s status.

Wisconsin Hospice and Palliative Care Association

563 Carter Ct, Suite B

Kimberly, WI 54136

Phone: 920-750-7726 | Fax: 920-882-3655

Email: wihpca@badgerbay.co

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