KINGSTON – Senator Michelle Hinchey Saturday announced that her bill to raise awareness of chronically-underutilized hospice and palliative care services in New York State was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday. Hinchey’s legislation, S8205A, requires the NYS Department of Health to develop an advance care planning campaign educating New Yorkers about the benefits and availability of hospice and palliative care services to ensure that individuals, and their families, are aware of the healthcare available to them and their right to have their end-of-life medical decisions honored.
For over a decade, New York State has ranked last in the nation in hospice and palliative care utilization, signaling a prevalent knowledge gap among New Yorkers about the healthcare services they are entitled to should they develop a life-limiting illness. In many cases, this lack of awareness can leave families struggling to ascertain a loved one’s end-of-life care preferences. Improving public awareness of advance care planning, as set forward by S8205A-Hinchey, can help close disparity gaps in care and ensure all New Yorkers have access to critical end-of-life services.
“Hospice care was a game changer for my family when we needed it, and yet, many people don’t know the extent of available hospice and palliative care resources, leaving them to feel alone during some of the hardest times and with increased economic hardship. That must change,” Senator Michelle Hinchey said. “This bill will be transformational for people across our state in making sure that, when these services are needed, New Yorkers know what support is available, and hopefully inspire others to prioritize end-of-life care planning. I’m incredibly happy that the Governor has signed this bill into law, and I thank her for prioritizing this important issue.”
Jeanne Chirico, President at Hospice & Palliative Care Association of New York State (HPCANYS), said, “We are grateful to have champions like Senator Hinchey to advocate for advanced serious illness providers, patients, and their communities. Her leadership has been vital to help bring awareness to the importance of advance care planning, and the fundamental role of hospice and palliative care in preserving patient choice and access.”
Senator Michelle Hinchey represents the 46th Senate District, which includes Greene and Montgomery Counties and parts of Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster Counties. Senator Hinchey serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Energy and Telecommunications, Environmental Conservation, and Local Government Committees.