CMS Approves Hawai’i MedQuest Palliative Care Program – First State in the USA

On May 7, 2024, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a new State Plan Amendment (SPA) in Hawai’i to cover community-based palliative care services making Hawaiʻi the first state in the nation to do so!!

The approved policy document adds community-based palliative care as a preventive service.

It defines palliative care and the required services and details the composition of the palliative care team—including scope and minimum qualifications, as well as relevance to adult and/or pediatric palliative care.

This novel SPA is the result of multi-stakeholder collaboration over many years. It is expected to serve as a road map for other states that are exploring new ways to pay for interdisciplinary, community-based palliative care.

Congratulations, to everyone involved who has put in so many years of work especially to the leadership of Judy Mohr Peterson, Joy Soares and Torrie Fields. We will share more information as we get it!  

And now to the future!! We hope you will be involved in this groundbreaking work! 

Explanatory Webinars:

In collaboration with MedQuest, Kōkua Mau will be conducting a series of webinars to explain the benefit to providers as well as a webinar for the the public. Please let us know what questions you have on the benefit. This will help us to structure and plan the webinars to meet our community’s needs. Send questions to us.

Messaging for Palliative Care in Hawaiʻi

For the last 2 years, Kōkua Mau’s Palliative Care Awareness Committee has been working to better understand palliative care in Hawaiʻi and how to educate both providers and the public. Materials for providers include the Referral Toolkit for Providers which is on our website.  

For the public we have updated our webpages, including videos, FAQs and other interactive activities. Visit: Palliative Care for Patients and Families

Especially as we move forward with the new groundbreaking benefit, it will be important that we use messaging that works to reach both providers and the MedQuest population.

We will be sharing the lessons learned, principles to adopt and messages to try (and things to avoid!!) in a webinar in the near future. And let us know if you would like to learn more and be involved with our efforts.