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SB-664 Hospice licensure: moratorium on new licenses.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/10/2021 09:00 PM
SB664:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 10, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 664


Introduced by Senator Allen

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 1747 add and repeal Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 1751.100) of Chapter 8.5 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to hospice.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 664, as amended, Allen. Hospice licensure. licensure: moratorium on new licenses.
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 disease, as defined, and their family, except as provided. The act also provides for the renewal of a license. The act imposes criminal penalties on any person who violates any provision of the act or any rule or regulation promulgated under the act.
This bill would impose, beginning on January 1, 2022, a moratorium on the department issuing a new license to provide hospice services, unless the department makes a written finding that an applicant for a new license has shown a demonstrable need for hospice services in the area where the applicant proposes to operate based on the concentration of all existing hospice services in that area. The moratorium would end either 365 days from the date that the California State Auditor publishes a report on hospice licensure or when these provisions are repealed on January 1, 2027, whichever is soonest. The bill would prohibit these provisions from being deemed to modify the authority of the department to renew a license pursuant to the act.

Existing law provides for the licensure of hospices by the State Department of Public Health in order to ensure the health and safety of patients, who by definition, are experiencing the last phases of life due to the existence of a terminal disease, and to permit qualified persons, political subdivisions of the state, and governmental agencies to comply with requirements of federal law regarding the provision of hospice care. Existing law prohibits a person, political subdivision of the state, or other governmental agency that is not operating as a hospice as of January 1, 1991, from establishing or operating a hospice without first obtaining a license from the State Department of Public Health, as specified.

This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to a provision relating to hospice licensure requirements.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 1751.100) is added to Chapter 8.5 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article  2.5. New License Moratorium

1751.100.
 Notwithstanding any other law and except as provided in Section 1751.105, on and after January 1, 2022, and until 365 days from the date that the California State Auditor publishes a report on hospice licensure, the department shall not issue a new license to operate a hospice pursuant to this chapter.

1751.105.
 (a) The department may grant an exception to the moratorium imposed by this article upon making a written finding that an applicant for a new license has shown a demonstrable need for hospice services in the area where the applicant proposes to operate based on the concentration of all existing hospice services in that area.
(b) The department shall issue a new license during the moratorium pursuant to an exception granted under this section in accordance with this chapter, including Article 2 (commencing with Section 1747).

1751.110.
 This article shall not be deemed to modify the authority of the department to renew a license pursuant to this chapter.

1751.115.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2027, and as of that date is repealed.

SECTION 1.Section 1747 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
1747.

(a) A person, political subdivision of the state, or other governmental agency, that is not operating a hospice as of January 1, 1991, shall not establish or operate a hospice without first obtaining a license under this chapter.

(b) A person, political subdivision of the state, or other governmental agency, that is operating a hospice as of January 1, 1991, may continue to operate the hospice only under the following conditions:

(1) The person, political subdivision of the state, or other governmental agency shall apply to the state department for a license under this chapter within 60 days after forms for the application of licensure under this chapter are available from the state department.

(2) The person, political subdivision of the state, or other governmental agency shall cease calling or referring to itself as a hospice upon the final decision of the director upholding the state department’s denial of an application for licensure under this chapter.

(c) This chapter does not preclude the ongoing use of the title “volunteer hospice” by those organizations that satisfy all of the following:

(1) They do not provide skilled nursing services.

(2) They do not charge patients or families for hospice services, and they do not receive third-party insurance payments for services rendered.

(3) They satisfy the disclosure requirements specified in subdivision (c) of Section 1748.

(d) A small and rural hospice is exempt from the licensing provisions of this chapter and the disclosure requirements of subdivision (c) of Section 1748. A small and rural hospice may provide skilled nursing services and may use the title “volunteer hospice.” For purposes of this chapter, a “small and rural hospice” means a hospice that provides services to fewer than 50 patients per year, does not charge for services, does not receive third-party payment for services rendered, and is not located in a standard metropolitan statistical area.