Governor Signs Wehrli Bill Expanding Hospice Patients’ Options for Prescription Pick-up and Delivery

Physicians Assistants and licensed nurses will now be enabled to deliver prescription medications for hospice patients in their care thanks to a new law sponsored by State Representative Grant Wehrli. Wehrli said the change will provide homebound patients an important option to ensure they will receive their needed medications on schedule.

The measure signed Tuesday by Governor Rauner (Senate Bill 689) will permit Physicians Assistants, Advance Practice Nurses, Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses who provide hospice or home health care services to be in possession of and deliver a prescribed medication, including a scheduled narcotic, to a patient in their care. Representative Wehrli noted that under previous law, they could have faced drug charges if stopped by law enforcement with a patient’s prescription medication in their possession.

“These are the professionals who are giving these patients comfort and providing for their healthcare needs on a daily basis, including supervising and administering their medications. It just makes sense that they should also be able to bring the medications to the patient’s home if needed,” Rep. Wehrli said.

“Not all patients in home care have family close-by who can pick up their prescriptions. For some, this option will be their best assurance of always having critical medications on hand,” Rep. Wehrli added.

Representative Wehrli noted that allowing medical professionals to transport the medications will also help keep them out of the hands family members or others in the home who may be tempted to take them.

The change was suggested by the Illinois Homecare and Hospice Council.