For Immediate Release: March 24, 2003
Senator Lawler Says Bill Would Authorize In-Patient Hospice Care
State Senator Daisy Lawler is awaiting action by the House of Representatives on a measure clearing the way for inpatient hospice care throughout the state.
Senate Bill 591 has already won approval by the full Senate and is now awaiting action in the opposite chamber. The measure would authorize the Department of Health to create a licensing process and would establish set standards. The legislation would also allow regular inspections of inpatient hospice facilities.
“Hospices provide a high level of support and care for patients. It’s a difficult job, but it’s one they have done extremely well in our state. This legislation would enable them to offer a new level of care through inpatient hospice facilities,” explained Senator Lawler. The Democrat from Comanche is principal author of the bill.
Senator Lawler said the Hospice inpatient facility would provide an effective alternative for those patients who can no longer remain in their own homes because they have no caregiver or because their families must work and cannot meet the patients’ needs 24-hours-a-day. The facilities would also help those patients whose pain can no longer be controlled in the home as well as patients in their final days of life.
“Every year more families and individuals are turning to hospices to help them care for a loved one who does not want to spend their final days in a hospital bed but needs more attention than could be given at home,” said Lawler. “It is a wonderful service for the patients and their families and it makes sense in today’s changing health care environment because it saves money while meeting patients’ very human needs.”
Senator Lawler said she would meet with employees of hospices from across Oklahoma on Tuesday, March 25. Between two and three-hundred people are expected for Hospice Day at the State Capitol. Those attending will have a chance to hear from public officials, including Senator Lawler who will be discussing her legislation and other issues of interest. Events get underway at 10:00 a.m. on the 2nd floor of the Capitol.
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