Assembly Bill (AB) 1280 – Hospice Patient Recruiting and Referral

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AFL 21-48 From the California Department of Public Health

November 19, 2021

TO: Hospices
SUBJECT: Assembly Bill (AB) 1280 – Hospice Patient Recruiting and Referral

All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary

This AFL notifies hospices of the chaptering of AB 1280 (Chapter 478, Statutes of 2021) prohibiting hospices from paying referral sources, specifying staff that can assist in the election of hospice and requiring a specified notice of rights.

Effective January 1, 2022, AB 1280 makes various changes to the referral and election of hospice care. AB 1280 prohibits a hospice provider, employed hospice staff, or agent for the hospice from giving payment to referral sources for referring patients to the hospice. Payment means anything of value, including cash, gift cards, prepaid cards, or remuneration of any kind. A referral source is a medical or nonmedical entity or medical or nonmedical provider that refers a patient, patient’s family, or patient’s representative to a hospice provider for a consultation or any other reason. A patient’s representative is either a person designated by the patient or a person acting on the patient’s behalf under the authority of the Long-Term Care Patient Representative Program, established by Chapter 3.6 of Division 8.5 of the Welfare & Institutions Code.

A hospice salesperson, recruiter, agent, or employee who receives any form of compensation or remuneration for hospice referrals or admissions is prohibited from providing consultation on hospice services, hospice election, or informed consent to a patient, patient’s family, or patient’s representative.

The election of hospice, informed consent, completed signatures, and counsel on the election of hospice to a patient, patient’s family, or patient’s representative must be completed by a registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, medical social worker, chaplain, or counselor employed by the hospice.

A hospice must provide a patient or the patient’s representative with verbal and written notice of the patient’s rights and responsibilities in a language and manner that the person understands during the initial visit before furnishing care.

CDPH’s failure to expressly notify hospices of statutory or regulatory requirements does not relieve hospices of their responsibility for following all laws and regulations. Hospices should refer to the full text of all applicable sections of Health and Safety Code to ensure compliance.

If you have any questions about this AFL, please contact your local district office.


Original signed by Cassie Dunham

Cassie Dunham

Acting Deputy Director