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§16-5I-2. Definitions.

(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.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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