Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 804




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 804 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Establish the culturally competent palliative care pilot program to promote palliative care, gather health care utilization data, and conduct bidding for at least two pilot programs for home or community based palliative care;


(2) Establish an advisory group to oversee implementation of the pilot program;


(3) Require reports to the legislature; and


(4) Appropriate funds for the pilot program.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, The Queen's Health Systems, Hawaii Pacific Health, St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii, American Nurses Association in Hawaii, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Hawaii Family Forum, Hawaii Care Choices, Kōkua Mau; Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and thirteen individuals.


Your Committee finds that palliative care, which focuses on providing patients with symptom relief from serious illness, can increase patients' quality of life as they go through recovery or face an end-of-life situation. Palliative care also decreases the emotional burden on patients and their families and reduces direct health care costs. However, your Committee notes that palliative care usage rates in Hawaii are lower than on the mainland, in part because Asian and Pacific Islanders are less likely to enroll in palliative care options. Your Committee further finds that culturally competent palliative care and hospice training is a promising practice to increase patient, family, and provider engagement with palliative care options.


Accordingly, this measure establishes the culturally competent palliative care pilot program, which is an important first step toward increasing palliative care awareness and usage in Hawaii.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 804 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,