The Blog to Transform Advanced Care
Advancing Care through Innovation, Observation and Collaboration.
The American Heart Association’s mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives – we seek to add years to life and life to years. This language corresponds with a significant expansion over the last decade of AHA program and policy efforts beyond inpatient care for cardiovascular diseases and stroke to include new work in ambulatory and post-acute care settings, upstream community health, cognitive/mental health, and caregiver supports.
Our work to increase access to high-quality, evidence-based care is anchored in our commitment to improve patient outcomes such as health-related quality of life that is consistent with the patients’ values, preferences, and goals. We share C-TAC’s commitment to empowering consumers, changing the health delivery system, improving public and private policies, and enhancing provider capacity and we are pleased to invest in the Summit again this year.
AHA has influenced clinical practice through our own published scientific statements in 2012 and 2014, and through review and endorsement of the latest guidelines update by the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care. We have used our brand and national position to advocate for policy and practice change, publishing a policy agenda for palliative care in 2016 and actively supporting the passage of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act in October 2019.
Our policy recommendations address a number of important issues including reimbursement for comprehensive delivery of palliative care services for patients with advanced cardiovascular disease and stroke; strong payer-provider relationships that involve data sharing to identify patients in need of palliative care, identification of better care and payment models, and establishment of quality standards and outcome measurements; healthcare system policies for the provision of comprehensive palliative care services during hospitalization, including goals of care, treatment decisions, needs of family caregivers, and transition to other care settings; and health professional education in palliative care as part of licensure requirements.
The AHA believes there is a lot more to be done to support in-hospital palliative care, particularly in recognition of the rapidly expanding prevalence and burden of heart failure – a priority population for the AHA—and for under-resourced and increasingly younger stroke patients, as an example. The cardiology and stroke provider communities need additional training, incentives, and tools to provide and refer patients and their caregivers to appropriate palliative, hospice, and transition care.
We also recognize the need to improve palliative care access and quality for those patients and families with more limited access than current in-hospital settings offer, namely rural and underserved populations, as well as those discharged to home or resource-constrained local facilities, in need of supportive care in their community. COVID-19 makes this need all the more urgent and there is greater need for tele-enabled and caregiver-dependent home-based solutions.
AHA is pleased to support C-TAC and the Summit to convene thought leaders and stakeholders to develop innovative and equity-based strategies to support people with serious illness and their families and caregivers.
Booth Staff Contacts
Josh Roll is a Government Relations Manager at the American Heart Association.
Steve Dentel BSN, RN, CPHQ is the National Director, Field Programs and Integration, Quality Outcomes Research & Analytics, at the American Heart Association.
What to Expect From Our Booth
We look forward to sharing more about the AHA’s work. You can expect to learn:
- How we support patients and caregivers through the AHA’s Support Network at https://supportnetwork.heart.org/
- Information about our policy statements on Caregiving and Palliative Care, as well as our You’re the Cure advocacy network at https://www.yourethecure.org/
- Information about our in-hospital and post-acute quality improvement portfolio
- Additional Heart Failure and Stroke Resources