Bill S7504-2013

Relates to conforming the definition of palliative care throughout the public health law

Relates to conforming the definition of palliative care under hospice provisions to be the same as under other public health law provisions.



  • May 15, 2014: REFERRED TO HEALTH



TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to the definition of palliative care

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Add a definition for and update other references to palliative care in the hospice law.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The bill adds a new subdivision 6 to Section 4002 of the Public Health Law to define "palliative care" as "health care treatment, including interdisciplinary end-of-life care, and consultation with patients and family members, and psychosocial and spiritual support to prevent or relieve pain and suffering and to enhance the patient's quality of life." This definition tracks the definition used in other relevant provisions of the Public Health Law.

Currently, Section 4002 does not define palliative care for the article as a whole, but instead references "palliative and supportive care to meet the special needs arising out of physical, psychological, spiritual, social and economic stresses which are experienced during the final stages of illness, and during dying and bereavement."

Section 3 of the bill deletes the definition of palliative care in Section 4012-b which is selectively applicable to services for patients with life-limiting as opposed to life-ending illness, and makes other technical revisions so that the new definition in Subdivision 6 of Section 4002 will apply to Article Forty as a whole.

JUSTIFICATION: The Palliative Care Access Act of 2010 (PHL § 2997-e) and the Palliative Care Information Act of 2011 (PHL § 2997-d) both define palliative care as "health care treatment, including interdisciplinary end-of-life care, and consultation with patients and family members, to prevent or relieve pain and suffering and to enhance the patient's quality of life, including hospice care under article forty of this chapter."

In 2002, Section 4012-b was enacted to enable hospices to provide palliative care to patients not at end-of-life. However, the inconsistent definitions between hospice statute and palliative care statutes have led to confusion and could potentially limit access. This bill updates the hospice statute to provide a definition of palliative care tracking that in used in those other sections.





STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7504 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to the definition of palliative care THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. The purpose of this act is to conform the concept of palliative care under article 40 of the public health law with that in sections 2997-c (palliative care patient information) and 2997-d (hospital, nursing home, home care, special needs assisted living residences and enhanced assisted living residences palliative care support) of the public health law. S 2. Section 4002 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6 to read as follows: 6. "PALLIATIVE CARE" MEANS HEALTH CARE TREATMENT, INCLUDING INTERDIS- CIPLINARY END-OF-LIFE CARE, CONSULTATION WITH PATIENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS, AND PSYCHOSOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL SUPPORT, TO PREVENT OR RELIEVE PAIN AND SUFFERING AND TO ENHANCE THE PATIENT'S QUALITY OF LIFE. S 3. Section 4012-b of the public health law, as added by chapter 195 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows: S 4012-b. Hospice palliative care [program for persons with advanced and progressive disease]. [1.] Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this article to the contrary, a hospice may also offer a program of palliative care for patients with advanced [and progressive disease] LIFE-LIMITING CONDITIONS AND ILLNESSES and their families. Such a program may be provided by a hospice issued a certificate of approval pursuant to section forty hundred four of this article, acting alone or under contract with a certified home health agency, long term home health care program, licensed home care services agency or AIDS home care program, as such terms are defined in section thirty-six hundred two of this chapter. Nothing in this section shall preclude the provision of palliative care by any other health care provider otherwise authorized to provide such services. [2. For the purposes of this section the following terms shall mean:
(a) "Advanced and progressive disease" means a medical condition which is irreversible and which will continue indefinitely, where there is no reasonable hope of maintaining life. (b) "Palliative care" means the active, interdisciplinary care of patients with advanced, life-limiting illness, focusing on relief of distressing physical and psychosocial symptoms and meeting spiritual needs. Its goal is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and families.]
S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.


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