COVID-19 hospice requirements

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is temporarily waiving certain licensing requirement for hospice care because of COVID-19 until the end of the state of emergency.  A hospice that has submitted an application for initial licensure, additional location or change of service may begin providing care prior to obtaining approval and licensure by CDPH.  A licensee that as applied to CDPH for renewal of a license, or reinstatement of a license that has been voluntarily suspended, may begin or continue providing care prior to obtaining approval of the renewal or reinstatement by CDPH.

Health examinations, TB testing and background checks for new employees are temporarily suspended.  The hospice must ensure each employee completes these actions no later than 30 days after the end of the state of emergency.

Hospices are temporarily not required to provide volunteer services.

Hospice providers will have flexibility in how they provide basic services to patients, including providing services by telehealth or other remote methods.

Hospice providers may temporarily use health care professionals regulated under the Healing Arts division of the Business and Professions Code.

Small and rural hospices may temporarily provide services to no more than 50 patients per year.  (AFL 20-47, April 23, 2020.)