As used in this article unless a different meaning or construction is clearly required by the context or otherwise:”Hospice” means a coordinated program of home and inpatient care provided directly or through an agreement under the direction of an identifiable hospice administration providing palliative and supportive medical and other health services to terminally ill patients and their families. A hospice utilizes a medically directed interdisciplinary team. A hospice program of care provides care to meet the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and other special needs which are experienced during the final stages of illness, and during dying and bereavement. Hospice care shall be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.”Hospice facility” means an institution, place, or building owned or operated by a hospice provider and licensed by the Department to provide room, board, and appropriate hospice care on a 24-hour basis, including respite and symptom management, to individuals requiring such care pursuant to the orders of a physician. Such facilities with 16 or fewer beds are exempt from Certificate of Public Need laws and regulations. Such facilities with more than 16 beds shall be licensed as a nursing facility or hospital and shall be subject to Certificate of Public Need laws and regulations.”Hospice patient” means a diagnosed terminally ill patient, with an anticipated life expectancy of six months or less, who, alone or in conjunction with designated family members, has voluntarily requested admission and been accepted into a licensed hospice program.”Hospice patient’s family” shall mean the hospice patient’s immediate kin, including a spouse, brother, sister, child or parent. Other relations and individuals with significant personal ties to the hospice patient may be designated as members of the hospice patient’s family by mutual agreement among the hospice patient, the relation or individual, and the hospice team.”Identifiable hospice administration” means an administrative group, individual or legal entity that has a distinct organizational structure, accountable to the governing authority directly or through a chief executive officer. This administration shall be responsible for the management of all aspects of the program.”Inpatient” means the provision of services, such as food, laundry, housekeeping, and staff to provide health or health-related services, including respite and symptom management, to hospice patients, whether in a hospital, nursing facility, or hospice facility.”Interdisciplinary team” means the patient and the patient’s family, the attending physician, and the following hospice personnel: physician, nurse, social worker, and trained volunteer. Providers of special services, such as clergy, mental health, pharmacy, and any other appropriate allied health services may also be included on the team as the needs of the patient dictate.”Palliative care” means treatment directed at controlling pain, relieving other symptoms, and focusing on the special needs of the patient and family as they experience the stress of the dying process, rather than the treatment aimed at investigation and intervention for the purpose of cure or prolongation of life.
1981, c. 346; 2007, c. 397.