KS Palliative Care Plan Announced

Governor Kelly Announces the Release of
Kansas’ 5-Year Palliative Care Plan

TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has released the state’s comprehensive 5-Year Palliative Care State Plan, a blueprint for how Kansas can better deliver care that improves the quality-of-life and mitigates suffering for Kansans with serious and often terminal illnesses. It includes proposals to deliver timely care to rural Kansans, bolster the health care workforce, and increase public awareness so Kansans can make informed decisions about treatment.

Thousands of Kansans could benefit from palliative care each year, yet Kansas currently ranks 42 of 51 states (including D.C.) in access to palliative care. Examples of diagnoses appropriate for palliative care include advanced dementia, cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, genetic disorders, perinatal conditions, heart conditions, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, liver disease, multiple sclerosis, and neurologic disorders, among others. It is appropriate for patients of any age or stage of illness and can accompany curative treatment.

“My administration is focused on improving the quality of life for Kansans at every stage of life, and key to that is improving understanding of and access to palliative care,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “The Palliative Care State Plan provides a comprehensive guide for how our state ease suffering at scale.”

The 2022-2027 Palliative Care State Plan is the product of a collaboration between KDHE, the Palliative Care Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Advisory Council, the Kansas Cancer Partnership, and other palliative care experts.

“Many people in Kansas would benefit from Palliative care but don’t know about it,” KDHE Secretary Janet Stanek said. “This state plan will help serve as a guideline to ensure that all Kansas families facing serious illness have the information and opportunity to obtain high-quality medical care that aligns with their unique circumstances and values.”

Other recommendations in the plan include:

  • Expanding broadband access and preserving policy changes to deliver telehealth services essential to delivering timely palliative care for all Kansans, including those in rural and frontier communities.
  • Incentive programs to recruit, train, and retain highly skilled palliative care clinicians; education on primary palliative care for all disciplines; and enhanced support for unpaid caregivers crucial to addressing our state’s palliative care workforce shortage.
  • Efforts to engage and inform Kansans about palliative care to improve the public’s understanding and acceptance of palliative care and how it differs from hospice.
  • Efforts to bring advanced care planning and serious illness care planning to scale across care settings so that Kansans are well-informed and can express their wishes, values, and treatment preferences ahead of treatment plan development.

To learn more about palliative care and the resources available, visit www.kdhe.ks.gov/834/Palliative-Care-Program.


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