State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has passed legislation to prevent the diversion of opioids from their intended use in a hospice care setting.

Substitute House Bill 366 would ensure that controlled substances containing opioids that are prescribed to a hospice care patient are better accounted for by requiring the hospice program to establish procedures to prevent the diversion of the drugs.

"As positive work continues on the opioid crisis, which negatively affects our communities, we are striving to eliminate avenues where our loved ones can be in harms way," said Rep. Anielski.

Sub. House Bill 366 will require hospice programs that provide care in residential settings to follow a set of best practices, including establishing a written policy containing procedures for the disposal of medications. As part of the plan of care, the written policy will be given to the patient and family upon the start of treatment.

Among other provisions in the bill, the care environment must be assessed for risk factors of drug abuse, medications must be monitored and opioid medications must be disposed of when they are no longer needed. If medications included in the plan of care are not disposed of properly, the hospice provider must report the situation to local law enforcement.

Passed unanimously, Sub. House Bill 366 will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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