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Key Legislation to Curb Opioid Epidemic Awaits President’s Signature

Posted on Sunday, October 7, 2018 11:58 PM

Last week, the Senate passed major bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid epidemic. The Support for Patients and Communities Act is now awaiting President Trumps signature. 

Upon passage of the legislation NAHC President William A. Dombi says, “We applaud House and Senate Members’ interest in providing an avenue by which hospices may help to reduce diversion of what can be very dangerous medications when used by individuals for whom they were never intended or prescribed. At the same time, we are grateful that throughout the process these same Members maintained a sensitive ear regarding the special circumstances under which hospices operate in the home, and the need to ensure that any hospice disposal legislation provides flexibility, does not create unnecessary regulatory hoops for hospices to jump through, and does not put hospice personnel at risk.  We believe that this legislation achieves these goals.”

This bill will now allow hospice workers to dispose of patient’s unused controlled substances upon death of the patient or if it expires.  Additionally, if the employee is the physician of the hospice patient and registered under section 303(f) of the Controlled Substances Act, he/she may dispose of such controlled medications in cases where the plan of care has changed such that patient no longer needs the medication.

Once the medication is disposed, the hospice must document in the clinical file the type of medication, dosage, method of administration and quantity; as well as the time and date of the disposal. 

Source: NAHC Report

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