State Legislature Update from Advocacy
Quality Hospice Programs Act Cited as Samuel's Law
S.371 (Bryant) came up for second reading in the House Wednesday afternoon and quickly died when Rep. Murrell Smith stood to offer a motion to recommit the bill to the 3M Committee which was later approved by a voice vote. Although Samuel’s Law as provided for in S.371 does not become law another bill, H.4372 (G.M. Smith), designed to improve quality and patient care through hospice providers under DHEC, was amended in the last hours of session to be cited as Samuel's Law. Please note that there are no elements of this bill that pertain to LLR (Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation) or a carve out for one specific provider. The amendment, drafted by Sen. Bryant in concert with Rep. Smith, provides for the creation of a task force to study potential geographic limitations on the region for which a hospice serves and to review patient safety and quality of care issues, including, but not limited to, hospice staffing, physician supervision of other licensed professionals, and the appropriate administration of medications in the hospice setting. The task force shall report to the General Assembly on its findings, and as a part of this report, shall include a draft of any legislation that may be needed to enact this policy. Please use the hyperlink above to access the bill in full.
Health Care Decisions Enrolled for Ratification
H.3999 (Henderson) revises the prioritized list of those who are authorized to make health care decisions for patients unable to provide consent was amended on the Senate floor Wednesday. Sen Vincent Sheheen offered an amendment successfully that strikes language that includes as a lowest (10th) priority a close friend of the patient who is an adult and reasonably is believed by the health care professional to have a close personal relationship with the patient. The legislation as amended revises the list to give higher priority to adult children over parents, higher priority to adult siblings over grandparents and adult grandchildren, and specify that a majority of relatives makes the decision when there are multiple relatives of equal priority. Documentation of efforts to locate a decision maker on the prioritized list must be recorded in the patient’s medical record. The bill is enrolled for ratification.
Elections for both chambers of the General Assembly will take place in 2016. The primary election will be held on June 14, 2016, and the general election will be held on November 8, 2016. All 46 seats in the chamber are up for election.
State Senators retiring are Paul Thurmond, Joel Lourie and Ray Cleary. Nine House members not seeking re-election: Representatives Kenny Bingham, Grady Brown, Wayne George, Chip Limehouse, Deborah Long, Walt McLeod, Shannon Riley, Mary Tinkler and Don Wells. Open House seats also up for grabs are those of former House member and now-Senator Mike Gambrell; Rep. Jenny Horne, who is running against U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford for 1st Congressional District; Rep. Mia McLeod and Rep. Stephen Goldfinch, who are running for the Senate seats of Sen. Joel Lourie and Sen. Ray Cleary, respectively; and the open seat of Rep. Eddie Southard.
- 06-06-2016 10:10 (EDT)