What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is a medical specialty for those with serious and/or chronic illnesses such as cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, renal failure, and dementia. The focus of Palliative Care is quality of life. To palliate means to provide comfort or make less severe.

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Welcome to PAHPM!

Physician Assistants in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (PAHPM) is a non-profit Specialty Organization affiliated with the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Members practice in clinical, research, and education settings.

The purpose of this organization is to educate PAs on the fields of Palliative and Hospice medicine, grow these areas of medicine through the use of PAs, and advocate for PA rights in Hospice care.

This site is dedicated to PAs practicing Hospice and Palliative Medicine and those who want to know more about this field.

"Our lives are a story and endings matter." ~Atul Gawande


On Friday, February 9, 2018 Congress passed an amendment to the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act, which was signed into law by President Trump.  This law recognizes Physician Assistants as a distinct and important part of the hospice interdisciplinary team with the ability to provide care to terminally-ill Medicare patients. PAs have already been working in this setting, albeit with significant limitations.  This law now allows PAs to practice in and independently bill Medicare for this important service.  The implications are far reaching, as this will allow for PAs to address the workforce need and offer an influx of providers previously unable to provide care in this setting.

PAHPM is thankful to the advocates within Congress who supported this legislative change, including Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE), in addition to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and countless individuals who work diligently in support of this legislation.

PAHPM remains committed not only to representing PAs in the field of hospice and palliative medicine, but also to the advancement of the specialty with expressed purpose of improving the quality of life for all patients with serious illness.  PAHPM is an official 501(c)(6) organization affiliated with the American Academy of Physician Assistants with the expressed mission in the promotion of excellence, education, and legislative actions for PAs in the fields of hospice and palliative care. Leadership is currently working with AAPA to better navigate the reimbursement implications, related challenges, and how PAs might utilize this new provision. Further information will be provided as it becomes available. 

Signed, BOD of PAHPM

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If you want to contact us directly, or have Questions about any of our Initiatives in Education, Research, or Policy, here is the email: info@pahpm.org