National Leaders Convene To Identify Solutions To Improve Advanced Illness Care

Jan 29, 2013, 15:13 ET from C-TAC

C-TAC convenes first-of-its kind national summit to address one of the nation's biggest health care concerns

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2013 National Summit on Advanced Illness Care: A Roadmap for Transformation hosted by The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) begins today in Washington, D.C. The Summit—happening January 29-30— will tackle one of America's greatest challenges: breaking through the many cultural, health system and policy barriers to ensure that persons living with advanced illness receive the right care at the right time and place. This summit will provide a forum where innovators in policy and advocacy as well as nationally recognized health care providers, faith leaders, patients and family members from across the nation will discuss proven models of advanced illness care that put patients, their families, and their wishes first.

"This Summit, for the first time ever, will provide the opportunity for a much needed bipartisan conversation—how to make advanced care better in America," said Bill Novelli, Co-Chair of C-TAC, a professor at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business and former CEO of AARP. "There is an urgent need for leaders throughout health care to come together and substantially improve care and support for people who are seriously ill. This Summit will address the gaps in the system and provide answers, by advocating for and implementing proven solutions."

A recent National Journal survey shows 93 percent of Americans say advanced care should be a top priority for America's health care system. The nation demands care that empowers patients to guide their care and decision-making, improves their quality of life and most importantly honors their wishes and their dignity. Research also has found that cultural and ethnic beliefs affect how people make decisions about care for advanced illness. The highest quality care for those who are seriously ill often goes well beyond a dialogue between patients and health care providers, incorporating support from faith leaders and family members, according to C-TAC.

"People living with advanced illness deserve all the support they can get during their difficult journey. They need comprehensive, high-quality, person- and family-centered care that will improve their quality of life and which is consistent with their values and needs," said Tom Koutsoumpas, C-TAC Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy. "That is why C-TAC members include not only major health systems but also consumer and patient advocacy groups, provider and provider organizations involved with hospice, palliative care, nursing homes, home health, and hospitals, faith-based organizations, academia, the payer community, and many others. Only by working together can we fix this dysfunctional system that is creating unnecessary obstacles for patients and their loved ones."

"America's sickest and most vulnerable citizens are experiencing undue challenges," said Brad Stuart, Chief Medical Officer, Sutter Care at Home. "The time to transform how we care for people in America who suffer from illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and COPD is now. This Summit is just the start of identifying what needs to be done to improve the entire experience."

Summit Speakers will include industry leaders such as U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR); Mark McClellan, M.D., former administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Judith Salerno, M.D., executive officer, Institute of Medicine; Leonard Schaeffer, former chair and CEO, WellPoint; Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association; Jennie Chin Hansen, CEO, American Geriatrics Society; Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief, Health Affairs, among many more.

C-TAC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C., Co-Founded by Bill Novelli, Professor, McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and Tom Koutsoumpas, Executive Director, Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy. C-TAC is funded in part by grants from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and The SCAN Foundation and the support of members.  Visit for a list of C-TAC members, the C-TAC action plan, and more information on the organization. Follow @CTACorg on twitter.