People with Serious Illness Have Little Voice When Addressing Care Needs, says C-TAC

New Organization Is Working for Comprehensive Reform to Improve Care and Give People More Choice

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, the newly formed Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) announced its action plan to improve care for people who are the sickest and most vulnerable. The Coalition is calling for reforms to help Americans prepare for and navigate complex issues related to advanced illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, COPD, diabetes, stroke, and dementia. Specifically, C-TAC will focus on:

  • Doing what works by designing, evaluating, and sharing evidence-based, best-practice care delivery models – models that work in both clinical and community settings – to ensure high-quality, patient-centered, coordinated advanced illness care across all settings. These new care delivery models will provide better health outcomes and better experiences for patients and their families;
  • Empowering the public so that patients and families have the freedom, knowledge, and understanding they need to better engage with health care professionals and to ultimately make informed choices for themselves and their loved ones. This increased understanding of advanced illness resources and the decision-making process will better position the public to advocate for changes in care delivery and supporting policies;
  • Educating health professionals to better serve patients and their loved ones by developing new training models essential to providing comprehensive, inter-professional, team-based care that is driven by patient goals and values. These new training models will increase clinician self worth by better preparing health care professionals to interact with patients and families as equals on the health care team;
  • Creating policy change by advocating for policies at all levels that are supportive of C-TAC’s care delivery intervention and inter-professional training models. In addition, C-TAC plans to develop a broader policy agenda to pursue through federal and state legislative, regulatory, judicial, and administrative initiatives, and private policies, to improve care for those with advanced illness.

C-TAC’s diverse membership includes experts and organizations in all fields that affect advanced care, including national patient and caregiver advocates, leading provider groups and health systems, innovative health plans, hospice and palliative care organizations, home care, long term care, clinicians, faith-based organizations, and academics – united by their commitment to transforming care for Americans living with serious illness.

“People with serious illness and their families face huge problems – emotional, spiritual and physical. They often have to fight their way through a maze of clinical settings and information to receive the care they want, versus what the system provides,” said Bill Novelli, Co-Chair of C-TAC, a professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, and former CEO of AARP. “Fragmented care is working against them. We need change now.”

Many Americans agree. A recent survey by the National Journal revealed that nearly 90 percent of Americans agree there should be more dialogue and debate about advanced care to better inform the public. The same survey showed that only 24 percent of people say they are very prepared for dealing with advanced care issues. As the number of older Americans, who are disproportionately affected by advanced illness, approaches record levels, the number of people living with advanced illness will increase significantly. In fact, the number of people 65 and older will double within 20 years.

“Everyone has a personal story about a loved one with advanced illness. The presence of advanced illness in our daily lives will continue to increase as the Baby Boomers age and more Americans need coordinated advanced illness care that is readily available in their communities, regardless of where they reside,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, C-TAC Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy. “We are seeing a tremendous group of stakeholders coming together because of the urgency to act on this moral imperative. These stakeholders – many of whom are motivated by their own personal experiences - also understand the financial burdens families often encounter in seeking what they feel is the best care available for their loved ones with advanced illness.”

A major concern for Americans, according to the National Journal survey, is the cost of a family member’s serious illness. C-TAC will promote tested models that provide patients and their loved ones the higher-quality care they need, with greater satisfaction, and lower costs. The new models will focus on providing the right care, at the right time, and in the right place. This includes developing new ways of caring for patients out of the hospital and in more comfortable settings that patients tend to prefer, most notably, at home.

“We are seeing real success from programs that focus on the immediate, personal goals of the individual who is seriously ill – and those goals are not always clinical, but about quality of life,” said Brad Stuart, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Northern California-based Sutter Care at Home. “That is what C-TAC is all about – making sure people receive comprehensive, high-quality care that is driven by their own needs and what matters most to them.”

C-TAC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C. The board of directors includes Tom Koutsoumpas, Board Co-Chair and Executive Director, Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy; Bill Novelli, Board Co-Chair and Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, and former CEO of AARP; Myra Christopher, Board Treasurer, and CEO and President, Center for Practical Bioethics; Alexandra Drane, President and Co-Founder, Eliza Corporation; Bud Hammes, Director of Medical Humanities, Gundersen Health System; Randy Krakauer, MD, National Medical Director of Medicare, Aetna; David Longnecker, MD, Director, Association of American Medical Colleges; Cynda Hylton Rushton, Professor of Nursing and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing; Charlie Sabatino, Director, ABA Commission on Law and Aging; Don Schumacher, President and CEO, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization; Brad Stuart, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Sutter Care at Home; and Jeff Weiss, Founder and Director of Center for Corporate Innovation. Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association, and Jennie Chin Hansen, CEO, American Geriatrics Society, are Co-Chairs of C-TAC’s Steering Committee.

C-TAC is funded in part by grants from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, 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.


Porter Novelli
Kendra Kojcsich, 202-973-2919
[email protected]

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