Stakeholder Group to Address Barriers to Widespread Use of POLST

As a result of a resolution adopted by the 2012 House of Delegates, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) convened a group of stakeholders to study concerns and barriers to widespread use of a Pennsylvania Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST). The form respects a patient’s goals for care, including the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and other medical interventions, and is portable across all health care settings, including out-of-hospital.

At a July 30 meeting, the stakeholder group worked toward finalizing a set of parameters on key issues that will be used as the foundation for drafting the legislation. The goal is to reach consensus within the interested stakeholder community so that we can be unified in urging the legislature to enact the proposed legislation.

Chaired by Daniel Kimball, Jr., MD, FACP, the group includes representatives from a wide range of interested parties, including physicians, hospitals, long-term care, home health, hospice, emergency medical services, community POLST programs, the disability community, faith-based organizations, and attorneys. At their initial meeting, they agreed that new legislation is needed to assure appropriate statewide recognition and use of POLST.

“Great progress was made at the meeting due to everyone’s active participation and willingness to consider and seek appropriate resolutions for the concerns of all of the stakeholders,” said Dr. Kimball.