Assemblyman Stirpe: Advancing Legislation to Expand Access to Hospice, Palliative Care

“Hospice and palliative care are critical resources for New Yorkers approaching the end of their life, yet sadly these services are underused because many people don’t know the options available to them. To help expand access to high quality compassionate care I co-sponsored and passed legislation to create the Office of Hospice and Palliative Care Access and Quality within the NYS Department of Health (A.8881-A). The new office would serve to identify and address barriers that prevent families from accessing hospice or palliative benefits and would be required to work with these health care providers to ensure those seeking such compassionate care know their options and can better connect to services statewide.

“As New York’s population ages, it’s critical that we take steps now to prepare for the expected increase in utilization of these vital services. Another bill I co-sponsored and helped pass creates a statewide campaign to raises awareness of hospice and palliative care services (A.8880-A). This bill would also help address the racial disparity in New Yorkers who access these services – of the 30% of residents who use hospice for end-of-life care, only 9% are Black, 3% are Hispanic and 2% are Asian. Our state has one of the lowest hospice Medicare utilization rates and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges.”