Lawmakers in New Jersey are working to reform the regulations surrounding hospice care in the state. Governor Phil Murphy has already singed one proposal into law and two additional proposals are currently under consideration. Lawmakers point to the fact that New Jersey is currently 39th in the nation for hospice utilization to support their push for reform.
Proposals aimed to address this issue include:
- S-3118. This is the proposal Governor Murphy already signed into law. It requires the New Jersey Commissioner of Health to put together a public awareness campaign focused on educating the public about advance care planning. It will also provide information on how to have conversations about patient preferences and end of life care.
- S-3116. This proposal would result in increased training for those who work within this field including those in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and dementia care facilities. It would require administrative personnel and professional staff partake in annual training for advance care planning, end of life care and how to use advance health directives. It would also require facilities provide similar information to families and patients.
- S-3117. This proposal would require emergency departments in the state take implement a plan concerning palliative care for qualifying patients. This plan would include screening methods to determine which patients qualify, information for patients to help facilitate a discussion with healthcare providers and guidance for healthcare professionals to navigate these conversations with patients with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
These efforts will likely translate to increased utilization of hospice care facilities. Those who are looking to help meet these need to navigate these and other regulations. Business leaders can help to better ensure a smooth transition into this segment of the healthcare arena by putting together a compliance plan.