1. a. As used in this section:
"Family member" means a hospice care patient's spouse, parent, adult sibling, adult child, or adult grandchild.
"Health care representative" means a person, including a member of the patient's family, who is authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of a hospice care patient.
"Hospice care patient" means a person currently receiving hospice care services in a private home or an assisted living facility through a licensed hospice care program.
"Third party caregiver" means a person who:
(1)is 18 years of age or older;
(2)provides care or assistance to a hospice care patient; and
(3)is not the patient's health care representative, a family member of the patient, or employed by the patient's hospice care program.
b.A hospice care program licensed pursuant to P.L.1997, c.78 (C.26:2H-79 et seq.) may choose, but shall not be required, to accept for disposal, at such time as a hospice care patient ceases to use the medication or ceases to receive hospice care services through the program, the hospice care patient's unused prescription medications. A hospice care program that chooses to accept unused prescription medications for disposal pursuant to this section shall:
(1)Establish a written policy setting forth procedures for accepting and disposing of unused prescription medications;
(2)Furnish a copy of the written policy to each patient, and to the patient's health care representative, at the time the patient is enrolled in the hospice care program, and designate a program representative who shall discuss the procedures and requirements for surrendering unused prescription medications with the patient and the patient's health care representative;
(3)Accept medications prescribed and dispensed to the patient pursuant to the patient's hospice care plan, as well as any other prescription medications that the patient, or the patient's health care representative, chooses to surrender to the program;
(4)Not accept any medication for surrender except at such time as the patient ceases to use the medication or ceases to receive hospice care services through the program; and
(5)Obtain any certifications, authorizations, or waivers as may be required under State or federal law in order to accept and dispose of unused prescription medications pursuant to this section.
c.At the time a hospice care patient ceases to receive hospice care services, a program representative shall provide a written request for surrender of unused medication to the patient or the patient's health care representative, which shall:
(1)request that the patient or the patient's health care representative surrender any unused prescription medications that were prescribed and dispensed to the patient pursuant to the patient's hospice care plan;
(2)offer to accept and dispose of any other prescription medication which the patient will not use; and
(3)urge that the patient or the patient's health care representative dispose of any unused prescription medication that is not surrendered to the program in a safe and legal manner, so as to avoid the risk of theft, diversion, or accidental ingestion.
d.No hospice care program may accept and dispose of an unused prescription medication pursuant to this section unless the patient or the patient's health care representative authorizes, in writing, the surrender of the unused prescription medication to the program; except that, if the patient is unable to provide written authorization and the patient does not have a health care representative, a third party caregiver may provide written authorization for the surrender. A hospice care program shall not accept an unused prescription medication unless the medication is identified for inclusion in the authorization for surrender.
e. (1) Unused prescription medications surrendered to a hospice care program pursuant to this section shall be surrendered to a registered professional nurse or a licensed practical nurse employed by the program.
(2)A nurse accepting the surrender of unused prescription medication pursuant to this section shall dispose of the medications at the site where hospice care was provided; in no case shall the nurse transport the unused prescription medications off-site for disposal or for any other purpose.
(3)A nurse who accepts and disposes of an unused prescription medication pursuant to this section shall document:
(a)the name and quantity of each medication surrendered;
(b)the name of the person authorizing the surrender, and the relationship of the person to the patient;
(c)the date and method of disposal; and
(d)the quantity and type of any unused prescription medication, of which the nurse is aware, that was prescribed and dispensed to the patient pursuant to the patient's hospice care plan, but was not surrendered to the program or otherwise disposed of by another person in the nurse's presence.
(4)The person authorizing the surrender of medication shall be provided with the opportunity to review, verify, and sign the documentation required under paragraph (3) of this subsection.
f.Nothing in this section shall prohibit any person from disposing of an unused prescription medication by any means authorized by law, including, but not limited to, surrendering the medication at a secure prescription medication drop-off receptacle.
g.No person shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action for any act or omission undertaken in good faith consistent with the requirements of this section.
L.2017, c.135, s.1.