West Virginia Code
This article shall be known as the Hospice Licensure Act. The purpose of this Act is to establish licensing requirements for hospices. It is the intent of the Legislature to establish, promote and make available within this state a comprehensive hospice care program for the treatment of physical, emotional and mental symptoms of terminal illness.
(a) "Bereavement services" means support services designed to assist individuals to experience, respond emotionally to and adjust to the death of another person.
(b) "Hospice" means a coordinated program of home and inpatient care provided directly or through an agreement under the direction of an identifiable hospice administration which provides palliative and supportive medical and other health services to terminally ill individuals and their families. Hospice utilizes a medically directed interdisciplinary team. A hospice program of care provides care to meet the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and other special needs which are experienced during the final stages of illness and during dying and bereavement.
(c) "Interdisciplinary team" means the hospice patient and the patient's family, the attending physician and the following hospice personnel: Physician, nurse, social worker, clergy and trained volunteer. Providers of supportive services such as mental health, pharmaceutical and any other appropriate allied health services may also be included on the team as the needs of the individual dictate.
(d) "Palliative services" means treatment directed at controlling pain, relieving other symptoms and focusing on the special needs of the individual and family as they experience the stress of the dying process, rather than treatment designed for investigation and intervention for the purpose of cure or prolongation of life.
(e) "Terminally ill" means that an individual has a medical prognosis that his or her life expectancy is six months or less or another length of time determined by the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services and designated in federal hospice regulations.
(f) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. The Secretary may define in regulation any term or phrase used in this article which is not expressly defined.
(a) No person, partnership, association or corporation or any governmental unit or any division, department, board or agency thereof may operate a hospice without first obtaining a license from the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of this article and the rules lawfully promulgated hereunder.
(b) Any person, partnership, association or corporation or any governmental unit or any division, department, board or agency thereof desiring a license hereunder shall file with the Secretary an application in such form as the Secretary shall prescribe and furnish accompanied by a fee to be determined by the board of Health, based upon the number of persons served by the hospice. The Secretary shall inspect the hospice prior to issuing a license. Upon receipt and review of an application for license, the Secretary shall issue a license if the hospice is in compliance with the provisions of this article and with the rules lawfully promulgated hereunder. The license is not transferable or assignable.
(c) A license shall expire one year from the date of issuance. Sixty days prior to the expiration date, an application for renewal shall be submitted on forms furnished by the Secretary. A license shall be renewed if the Secretary determines that the applicant is in compliance with this article and with all rules promulgated hereunder.
(d) The Secretary or his or her designee shall inspect all hospices that are subject to rules adopted pursuant to this article periodically and at least as often as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in order to determine compliance with the provisions of this article and with rules adopted hereunder, and regulations promulgated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
(a) The Secretary is authorized to suspend or revoke a license issued hereunder if the provisions of this article or of the rules are violated.
(b) Before any such license is suspended or revoked, however, written notice shall be given the licensee, stating the grounds of the complaint, and the date, time and place set for the hearing on the complaint, which date shall not be less than thirty days from the time notice is given. Such notice shall be sent by registered mail to the licensee at the address where the hospice concerned is located. The licensee shall be entitled to be represented by legal counsel at the hearing.
(c) If a license is revoked as herein provided, a new application for a license shall be considered by the Secretary if, when and after the conditions upon which revocation was based have been corrected and evidence of this fact has been furnished. A new license shall then be granted after proper inspection has been made and all provisions of this article and rules promulgated hereunder have been satisfied.
(d) All of the pertinent provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code shall apply to and govern any hearing authorized and required by the provisions of this article and the administrative procedure in connection with and following any such hearing, with like effect as if the provisions of said article five were set forth in extenso in this section.
(e) Any applicant or licensee who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Secretary as a result of the hearing provided in this section may, within thirty days after receiving notice of the decision, appeal to the circuit court, in term or in vacation, of Kanawha County for judicial review of the decision.
(f) The court may affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the Secretary and either the applicant or licensee or the Secretary may appeal from the court's decision to the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources may promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the licensure of hospice programs to ensure adequate care, treatment, health, safety, welfare and comfort of hospice patients. Such rules shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) The qualifications and supervision of licensed and nonlicensed personnel;
(b) The provision and coordination of inpatient care and in-home treatment services, including the development of a written plan of care;
(c) The management, operation, staffing and equipping of the hospice program;
(d) The clinical and business records kept by the hospice;
(e) The procedures for the review of utilization and quality of patient care; and
(f) Such other requirements as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
(a) Any person, partnership, association or corporation and any local governmental unit or any division, department, board or agency thereof which establishes, conducts, manages or operates a hospice without first obtaining a license therefor as herein provided, or which violates any provisions of this article or any rule or regulation lawfully promulgated thereunder, shall be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary not to exceed $50 for each violation. Each day of continuing violation after conviction shall be considered a separate violation.
(b) Notwithstanding the existence or pursuit of any other remedy, the Secretary may, in the manner provided by law, maintain an action in the name of the state for an injunction against any person, partnership, association, corporation or any governmental unit or any division, department, board or agency thereof to restrain or prevent the establishment, conduct, management or operation of any hospice or violation of any provisions of this article or any rule or regulation lawfully promulgated thereunder without first obtaining a license therefor in the manner hereinbefore provided.