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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.