New DOH Policy Will Allow More ACF Residents to Remain During Last Days of Life
LeadingAge NY is pleased that the Department of Health (DOH) has announced a new policy that will enable many residents of adult care facilities (ACFs) to remain in those settings during their last days of life. Click here to view a new Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) regarding the administration of medications for ACF residents who are in receipt of hospice services. The letter outlines a potential option for those individuals who, at the end of life, are unable to participate in the self-administration of medication but have potential caregivers who can assist. This issue has previously been a barrier for some residents to remain in the ACF; they would often have to go to a nursing home due to statutory limitations on nursing care in these settings. The Department’s new policy will enable a resident’s trusted caregiver to assist with those needs, thereby preventing the resident from having to endure an unnecessary transfer. LeadingAge NY worked closely with other stakeholders of the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) workgroup, DOH, and the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement to develop this policy, which will afford residents a more dignified and peaceful death in the place they call home. Members are encouraged to let us know what questions they have about this new policy. We will be working with DOH to develop some questions and answers (Q&As) and best practices in the near future.
LeadingAge NY has been working for years to try to eliminate the barriers to ACF and assisted living residents being able to fully utilize the benefits of hospice care at the end of life. The next such issue this group will again tackle is the prohibition on a Medicaid-eligible person living in the assisted living program (ALP) and accessing hospice services at the same time. Members may recall that LeadingAge NY successfully got a bill passed regarding this issue; however, the Governor vetoed it, pointing to concerns voiced by DOH. We will be meeting with DOH in the coming weeks to try to work through these barriers.