Our Advocacy Efforts

In the United States each year there are millions of people living with serious illness that impacts the quality of life for patients, their families, and caregivers. Serious illness includes many disease types and chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and many more. Serious illness affects both children and adults.

Our coalition works to improve the care of serious illness on behalf of all patients by collaborating to advocate for equitable policies and improved health outcomes, establishing best practices, and sharing resources.

We focus on key issues such as advocacy, quality, workforce, payment, and research at a national level to positively promote palliative care as well as hospice care provided by the interdisciplinary teams (IDT) of physicians, physicians associates, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, and researchers.


We work to identify gaps in quality and performance improvement measures within the hospice and palliative care field and encourage the development of new performance measures that will improve the care for people with serious illness. The NCHPC workgroups also frequently recommend experts from our members to serve on federal and other technical expert panels.


We support the interdisciplinary workforce needed to care for people with serious illness, including physicians, physician associates, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, community-based workers, and home health care workers. We also seek to address challenges and opportunities related to educating, training, and retaining the serious illness care workforce.


We work with our member organizations to analyze Medicare policies, including alternative payment models, and other payment issues to reach consensus-based recommendations that impact the field, on behalf of patients, their families, and caregivers who are living with serious illnesses.


We advocate for a research strategy with key partners to increase federal funding, as well as other sources of funding, for palliative care and hospice research across the lifespan. Patients deserve a primary and specialty palliative care workforce that delivers care in accordance with universal quality standards to meet their hospice and palliative care needs.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness that aims to alleviate symptoms such as pain, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety. It is appropriate at any age and any stage of a serious illness.

What is Hospice?

Hospice is a specific type of palliative care provided to individuals with a life expectancy measured in months, not years. Hospice teams provide patients and families with expert medical care, emotional, and spiritual support, focusing on improving patient and family quality of life.


Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, 4th edition

Create a blueprint for excellence by establishing a comprehensive foundation for gold-standard palliative care, including evidence-based processes and practices for providing safe and reliable high-quality care for all people living with serious illness, regardless of their diagnosis, prognosis, age or where they live or receive care.