Posted on: December 18, 2015
Written by: Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
The 2016 California Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form is now available for individual download and bulk purchase, allowing health care providers to be ready Jan. 1, 2016, when nurse practitioners and physician assistants – under the supervision of a physician and within their scope of practice – are authorized to sign POLST forms and make them actionable medical orders under Assembly Bill 637.
Changes to POLST in 2016
On the front of the POLST form, changes were made to Section D: Information and Signatures, to allow space for NP and PA signature and license/certification information. On the back of the form, there is now a space for NPs and PAs to note the name of their supervising physician and new information under the Directions for Healthcare Providers section.
On November 19, more than 600 health care professionals attended a webinar about the new POLST form and the impact of AB 637. Download and read this document (PDF) answering 36 questions asked during the webinar. (An encore presentation of this webinar is available on YouTube.)
Still have questions? Contact us.
- AB 637 does not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2016. POLST forms signed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants prior to that date will not be valid.
- Previous versions of POLST are still valid.
- Best practice is for NPs and PAs to only use the revised POLST form (with an effective date of 01/1/2016) because previous versions do not contain the necessary signature lines or clarifying language and instructions.