Palliative Care and EoLOA Bills Reach Governor’s Desk

Originally posted on September 17, 2021

Governor has until October 10 to take action on bills after close of legislative session

Two key bills related to serious illness cleared the Legislature in the final days before the September 10 end of California’s 2021 legislative session. Governor Newsom has until October 10 to sign, approve without signing, or veto these bills and the others that reached his desk. 

Senate Bill 353: Hospice Palliative Care 

SB 353 (Roth), which CCCC is co-sponsoring with the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHAPCA), would extend the Palliative Care Pilot Program (PCPP) originally implemented under SB 294 (Statutes 2017) until January 1, 2027. The PCPP pilot, which allows a hospice licensee to provide palliative care to non-hospice patients, is currently set to end on December 31. [Read more about SB 353 in our May 17 Blog post.]

Senate Bill 380: End of Life Option Act

SB 380 (Eggman), which makes significant amendments to California’s End of Life Option Act (EoLOA), underwent several revisions before passing the Legislature.  [Read more about the original EoLOA bill in our May 17 Blog post.]

The original bill language eliminated the sunset date for the EoLOA, thereby extending the law indefinitely.  The final version of the bill extends the sunset date from January 1, 2026 to January 1, 2031.

The bill language also now replaces the term “health care facility” with “health care entity,” and applies the law to a hospice facility (including ones that are not in-patient).

Another change to the original bill is language clarifying that posting of their EoLOA policy on a health care entity’s public website will satisfy the bill’s annual notice requirement.

The bill would also prohibit an oral request documented in an individual’s medical record from being disregarded by an attending physician solely because it was received by a prior attending physician.

CCCC takes no position on SB 380. Rather, CCCC’s role is to serve as neutral source for information on the EoLOA.