AB 1884: Hospice care: standards.

Existing law, the California Hospice Licensure Act of 1990, requires a person, political subdivision of the state, or other governmental agency to obtain a license from the State Department of Public Health to provide hospice services to an individual who is experiencing the last phase of life due to a terminal illness, as defined. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor.
 
Under the act, a licensed hospice, at the department’s option, is subject to periodic inspection by a duly authorized representative of the department. The act requires that the reports of each inspection be prepared by the representative who conducted the inspection and be filed with the department.
This bill would instead require that a licensed hospice be inspected by a representative every 3 years. The bill would require that results of an inspection be made available to the public to the extent consistent with federal and state privacy laws.
 
Existing federal law sets forth standards for purposes of certification and recertification of a terminal illness and for purposes of qualifying for reimbursement for hospice services under the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs. For the initial 90-day period, existing federal law requires the hospice to obtain certification from (1) the medical director of the hospice or the physician member of the hospice interdisciplinary group, and (2) the individual’s attending physician, if applicable. Under existing federal law, for recertification during subsequent periods, the only requirement is certification by the medical director or the physician member of the hospice interdisciplinary group.
 
This bill would require that the recertification of the terminal illness of a patient be conducted by at least one independent physician in conjunction with the medical director of the hospice or the physician member of the hospice interdisciplinary group, to the extent permitted by federal law. Because a violation of this new requirement would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
 
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Staffer: Clayton Holmes

For more information, please click here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB1884