Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

CHAPTER 8.5. California Hospice Licensure Act of 1990 [1745 - 1759]

  ( Chapter 8.5 added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1343, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 1. General [1745 - 1746]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1343, Sec. 1. )


(a)  The purposes of this chapter are to provide for the licensure of hospices by the state department 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.

(b)  In enacting this chapter, it is the intent of the Legislature to allow all qualified persons, political subdivisions of the state, and governmental agencies to provide hospice services to the people of California. It is also the intent of the Legislature to distinguish between the functions of a volunteer hospice and a hospice requiring licensure. It is further the intent of the Legislature to require the state department to establish standards of quality care for licensed hospices.

(c)  It is the intent of the Legislature that regulations adopted by the state department pursuant to this chapter not be so burdensome or costly, or both, in terms of implementation, that hospices located in rural areas are forced to stop providing care. Therefore, the state department shall exercise discretion and program flexibility in regard to licensing hospices which are located in rural areas of the state.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1343, Sec. 1.)


For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Bereavement services” means those services available to the surviving family members for a period of at least one year after the death of the patient, including an assessment of the needs of the bereaved family and the development of a care plan that meets these needs, both prior to and following the death of the patient.

(b) “Home health aide” has the same meaning as that term is defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1727.

(c) “Home health aide services” means those services described in subdivision (d) of Section 1727 that provide for the personal care of the terminally ill patient and the performance of related tasks in the patient’s home in accordance with the plan of care in order to increase the level of comfort and to maintain personal hygiene and a safe, healthy environment for the patient.

(d) “Hospice” means a specialized form of interdisciplinary health care that is designed to provide palliative care, alleviate the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual discomforts of an individual who is experiencing the last phases of life due to the existence of a terminal disease, and provide supportive care to the primary caregiver and the family of the hospice patient, and that meets all of the following criteria:

(1) Considers the patient and the patient’s family, in addition to the patient, as the unit of care.

(2) Utilizes an interdisciplinary team to assess the physical, medical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of the patient and the patient’s family.

(3) Requires the interdisciplinary team to develop an overall plan of care and to provide coordinated care that emphasizes supportive services, including, but not limited to, home care, pain control, and limited inpatient services. Limited inpatient services are intended to ensure both continuity of care and appropriateness of services for those patients who cannot be managed at home because of acute complications or the temporary absence of a capable primary caregiver.

(4) Provides for the palliative medical treatment of pain and other symptoms associated with a terminal disease, but does not provide for efforts to cure the disease.

(5) Provides for bereavement services following death to assist the family in coping with social and emotional needs associated with the death of the patient.

(6) Actively utilizes volunteers in the delivery of hospice services.

(7) To the extent appropriate, based on the medical needs of the patient, provides services in the patient’s home or primary place of residence.

(e) “Hospice facility” means a health facility as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 1250.

(f) “Inpatient care arrangements” means arranging for those short inpatient stays that may become necessary to manage acute symptoms or because of the temporary absence, or need for respite, of a capable primary caregiver. The hospice shall arrange for these stays, ensuring both continuity of care and the appropriateness of services.

(g) “An interdisciplinary team” means the hospice care team that includes, but is not limited to, the patient and patient’s family, a physician and surgeon, a registered nurse, a social worker, a volunteer, and a spiritual caregiver. The team shall be coordinated by a registered nurse and shall be under medical direction. The team shall meet regularly to develop and maintain an appropriate plan of care.

(h) “Medical direction” means those services provided by a licensed physician and surgeon who is charged with the responsibility of acting as a consultant to the interdisciplinary team, a consultant to the patient’s attending physician and surgeon, as requested, with regard to pain and symptom management, and a liaison with physician and surgeons in the community.

(i) “Multiple location” means a location or site from which a hospice makes available basic hospice services within the service area of the parent agency. A multiple location shares administration, supervision, policies and procedures, and services with the parent agency in a manner that renders it unnecessary for the site to independently meet the licensing requirements.

(j) “Palliative care” means patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life of a patient with a terminal illness by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs and to facilitate patient autonomy, access to information, and choice.

(k) “Parent agency” means the part of the hospice that is licensed pursuant to this chapter and that develops and maintains administrative control of multiple locations. All services provided from each multiple location and parent agency are the responsibility of the parent agency.

(l) “Plan of care” means a written plan developed by the attending physician and surgeon, the medical director or physician and surgeon designee, and the interdisciplinary team that addresses the needs of a patient and family admitted to the hospice organization. The hospice shall retain overall responsibility for the development and maintenance of the plan of care and quality of services delivered.

(m) “Preliminary services” means those services authorized pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 1749.

(n) “Skilled nursing services” means nursing services provided by or under the supervision of a registered nurse under a plan of care developed by the interdisciplinary team and the patient’s physician and surgeon to a patient and his or her family that pertain to the palliative, supportive services required by patients with a terminal illness. Skilled nursing services include, but are not limited to, patient assessment, evaluation and case management of the medical nursing needs of the patient, the performance of prescribed medical treatment for pain and symptom control, the provision of emotional support to both the patient and his or her family, and the instruction of caregivers in providing personal care to the patient. Skilled nursing services shall provide for the continuity of services for the patient and his or her family. Skilled nursing services shall be available on a 24-hour on-call basis.

(o) “Social services/counseling services” means those counseling and spiritual care services that assist the patient and his or her family to minimize stresses and problems that arise from social, economic, psychological, or spiritual needs by utilizing appropriate community resources, and maximize positive aspects and opportunities for growth.

(p) “Terminal disease” or “terminal illness” means a medical condition resulting in a prognosis of life of one year or less, if the disease follows its natural course.

(q) “Volunteer services” means those services provided by trained hospice volunteers who have agreed to provide service under the direction of a hospice staff member who has been designated by the hospice to provide direction to hospice volunteers. Hospice volunteers may be used to provide support and companionship to the patient and his or her family during the remaining days of the patient’s life and to the surviving family following the patient’s death.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 673, Sec. 9. (SB 135) Effective January 1, 2013.)

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