Federal Update

Federal Update

Democrat Chris Pappas was elected to succeed Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter to New Hampshire’s Congressional District 1, while Congresswoman Anne McLane-Kuster easily won her 4th term. As always, GSHHA will develop and maintain a strong rapport with our Congressional Delegation on federal issues that affect home care, hospice and palliative care.

Opioid Bill Allows Hospices to Dispose of Meds

H.R. 6, Support for Families and Communities Act, which was comprehensive, bi-partisan opioid legislation, was recently signed by President Trump. The bill includes a provision to allow hospice staff to handle for the purpose of onsite disposal controlled substances for use by a hospice patient after the patient has died or in cases where medication has expired. The bill allows physicians employed by the hospice to dispose of drugs when the care plan has changed so that the patient no longer needs the medication. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will conduct an 18-month study to determine challenges and barriers for hospices.

While this new law is already in effect, hospices should await guidance from the DEA for disposal practices. Special thanks to Senator Maggie Hassan who was a lead sponsor on a drug disposal bill that was became part of H.R.6.