On Aug. 10, the Assembly Health, Aging and Long-Term Care Committee will hold a public hearing on Assembly Bill 189, legislation that would create new requirements regarding the reporting of deaths to a medical examiner or coroner. More specifically, the bill would require a person that is currently obligated to report deaths and has knowledge of a death that occurred within 24 hours after an individual has been admitted to a hospital or similar institution to contact the medical examiner or coroner to determine whether the death is reportable under current state law.
WiHPCA is seeking an amendment to the bill to exempt hospice agencies from the legislation’s requirement to notify a medical examiner or coroner of deaths that occur within 24 hours. The bill as written would create additional stress and an administrative burden on hospice staff, as there are numerous (and expected) deaths that occur at hospice facilities within 24 hours of admittance. According to one mid-size agency located in southern Wisconsin, they have between 15 to 20 death a month that would require them to contact the coroner or medical examiner under the bill’s provisions.
The WiHPCA Government Affairs Team is currently working with lawmakers on the amendment described above. In addition, WiHPCA will be testifying at the hearing and will be asking select members to contact their legislators on the amendment.