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House Panel Approves Hospice Care Expansion

Sen. Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart)
Florida House of Representatives

The House is advancing a measure making it easier for patients to access hospice care. 

Florida confines hospice services to the final six months of a person’s life.  But Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-Stuart) wants to ensure terminal patients can receive access to pain relief more quickly.

“In fact there are many conditions that, especially in the cancer—when you have cancer or other very debilitating illnesses that may go further than that,” Harrell says, “and that palliative care addition to the bill to the statute is very very significant for these patients.”

Palliative and hospice care often include opioids, so the measure also directs providers to establish procedures for assisting family members in disposing of the drugs after a patient’s death.

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.