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    palliative care

    Coming soon: Changes to Ohio law governing hospices’ provision of palliative care and new requirements for hospitals to identify patients needing palliative care

    In December 2018, Ohio lawmakers passed Substitute House Bill 286 (H.B. 286) in an effort to develop and implement palliative care initiatives and education in the state. The bill, which takes effect on March 20, 2019, changes Ohio law governing the ability of hospices to provide palliative care to non-hospice patients. Therefore, H.B. 286 will be of particular interest to hospice providers that currently offer, or are considering expanding their operations to include, palliative care to individuals with a serious or life-threatening illness who either are not hospice eligible or are hospice eligible but have not elected hospice.  

    H.B. Bill 286 will also be of interest to hospitals, surgery centers and nursing homes, since H.B. 286 requires these type of providers (among others) to establish a system for identifying patients who could benefit from palliative care and providing information to identified patients.

    Below is a summary of some significant changes of H.B. 286 related to the provision of palliative care to non-hospice patients by a licensed hospice program.  

    • Adds a new Ohio Revised Code Section 3712.10, which permits an Ohio-licensed hospice program to provide palliative care in an inpatient facility or unit operated by the hospice to patients who are not hospice patients. However, care can only be provided to each patient on a short-term basis and if the care is medically necessary for the patient.
    • Provides that palliative care to non-hospice patients in an inpatient setting, as described above, is an authorized activity of the hospice under its license.  
    • Provides that an entity that holds a license for a hospice care program – including a program that provides palliative care to non-hospice patients in an inpatient setting – is not precluded from owning, being owned by or being otherwise affiliated with any entity that provides palliative care to patients who are not hospice patients.
    • The Director of Health is required by H.B. 286 to adopt rules governing the provision of palliative care to inpatients who are not hospice patients. The posting date of proposed rules by Ohio Department of Health is not yet specified.

    In addition to expanding the ability of hospices to provide palliative care to non-hospice patients, H.B. 286:

    • Creates a Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council and a related education program to require identification of patients and residents who could benefit from palliative care.
    • Modifies the pain management clinic licensing law relative to certain palliative care patients.
    • Requires hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and certain other health care providers to establish a system for identifying patients or residents who could benefit from palliative care and provide them with information on palliative care.. This requirement is found in a new Ohio Revised Code Section 3701.362.

    This article presents a summary of only some of the legislative changes created by H.B. 286. The entire bill can be found here.  

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