Reed Discusses Hospice, Palliative Care Legislation

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, visited Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care on Monday morning to discuss the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. P-J photo by Katrina Fuller

Quality care at the end of life is just as important as quality care at the beginning or middle, according to Tom Reed.

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, visited Chautauqua Hospice on Monday to discuss hospice care legislation and its importance to his district and beyond. Reed, a hospice volunteer himself, said he is dedicated to the cause because of how important hospice and palliative care are to people in general.

“As many of you know, I have been fully committed to hospice and palliative care over the years, not only because of the personal experience I had with my mother,” Reed said. “The woman who taught me how to live taught me how to die, and die with grace and die with good quality and I would bet, longer quantity of life, given the quality of hospice and palliative care that she received in our family in the Corning Care First organization.”

Reed discussed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, which will enhance the quality of life for patients and families, reduce hospital expenditures, provide better care for rural areas with new training requirements and increase attention to options for end-of-life care. He also discussed another piece of legislation that deals with reimbursements for organizations and physicians at the federal level.

Reed called the legislation “bipartisan” and “common sense.”

“We’re looking for a vehicle to get them to the finish line,” he said. “I’m confident we will find that vehicle, here in the upcoming few months.”

During his time at Hospice on Monday, Reed also met with patients of Hospice that shared their experiences.

“Again, that re-informs my belief that the work these folks do is God’s work,” he said. “They are tending to people, providing services to people that allow them to enjoy their lives. I thank you for doing that.”

Shauna Anderson, Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care president and chief executive officer, thanked Reed for visiting to discuss the legislation.

“The Patient Choice and Quality Care Act and the Rural Access to Hospice Act are important legislative matters that will impact the overall care we provide,” Anderson said. “We support the Rural Access To Hospice Act which will allow physicians and nurse practitioners at these clinics to serve as the hospice attending physicians.”

Anderson said Reed’s presence at the organization demonstrates his ongoing commitment to quality of life and quality of care for hospice and palliative care patients.

Reed was met by representatives of local government, including State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Jamestown and County Executive Vince Horrigan. Also in attendance were representatives of Corning Care First and HomeCare and Hospice of Olean.