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New POLST form begins Jan. 3, 2023

20 Nov 2022

Core values haven’t changed; see flier

By: Hong Lee, PhD, HEF-C, Medical Ethicist

Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms are changing starting Jan. 1, 2023. Forms submitted after July 1, 2023, must meet new requirements to be accepted into the Oregon POLST Registry. Existing forms do not need to be replaced if your patients’ wishes have not changed.

Key changes include:POLST form

  • Section C is now mandatory. This is the section in which to document who was present for the conversation, including any individuals who participated by phone or video connection. Requiring this documentation reinforces the patient’s right to support person(s) for these important conversations.
  • If “Attempt Resuscitation/CPR” is selected, then “Full Treatment” must be chosen in Section B.
  • “Limited Treatment” in Section B is now “Selective Treatment.” Though the name has changed, the scope of treatments in this option is unchanged.

POLST Core Principles:

  • POLST is always voluntary. A POLST can never be required as a condition of treatment/care.
  • POLST forms should only be completed for patients who wish to set limits on treatment and who have advanced illness or frailty. It is not appropriate for persons with stable long-term disability.
  • For patients being discharged to short-term rehab who are Full Code, we recommend using facility's code status orders rather than a POLST form.
  • POLST is not appropriate for healthy older adults. We recommend against routinely discussing POLST at Welcome to Medicare or Medicare Wellness Visits. Instead, an Advance Directive should be offered.

We will continue sharing reminders as the deadline approaches. You can visit this website for more information. More information in languages other than English is available at on the Patients and Family webpage.

Learn more about the changes below:
POLST changes