Jan 16, 2013 8:49 PM by Akeam Ashford
Hospice care is a service that aims to make dying patients more comfortable in their final months of life, but these services will no longer be available for new patients come February 1st due to budget cuts. Patients which are already receiving hospice care will continue to receive their services, but no new patients will be allowed to sign-up. Legislators are, however, working on a proposal to overturn the Department of Health and Hospitals proposed law.
Senator Dan Claitor (R) sent a letter to Senate President John A. Alario, Jr. asking for a legislative oversight-hearing to occur no later than March 11, 2013. The Senator did advise that even if he were successful in getting a hearing, patients would be without the necessary services for at least a month.
In Acadiana, Senator Fred Mills (R) and Representative Terry Landry (D) met with constituents at Hospice of Acadiana to explain exactly what to expect in the coming months.
The state is expected to save $1.1 million on the proposed cuts, but lawmakers like Rep. Landry say "hospice has served all economic barriers and lines. The rich, the poor and the middle class."