An Act To Advance Palliative Care Utilization in the State
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, with the advent of reduced opioid prescribing, people with chronic pain are often left hopeless and at high risk of suicide or addiction; and
Whereas, this Act requires the adoption of rules that support and standardize the delivery of palliative care in the State; and
Whereas, the rulemaking process must be commenced before the expiration of the 90-day period due to the critical nature of the problem this Act seeks to address; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §1726-A is enacted to read:
§ 1726-A. Palliative care
Sec. 2. 22 MRSA §3174-EEE is enacted to read:
§ 3174-EEE. Palliative care reimbursement
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to provide reimbursement under the MaineCare program for palliative care. It also requires the department to adopt rules that support and standardize the delivery of palliative care in the State, including but not limited to strategies for the distribution of public educational documents and the distribution by health care providers of information regarding the availability of palliative care to patients. It also requires the department to consult with the Maine Hospice Council, the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Advisory Council and other stakeholders when developing educational documents and rules related to palliative care.