FRANKFORT, Ky. — Hospice providers would have to adopt policies and procedures for the disposal of powerful prescription painkillers following a patient’s death under a bill that has cleared the Kentucky House of Representatives.

When a person in hospice care dies, unused pain medication reverts to their estate. House Bill 148 would require hospice providers to come up with an agreement for the patient to sign allowing the provider to destroy the medication after death. If the patient refuses to sign the agreement, the hospice provider must notify local law enforcement agencies about the painkillers once the patient dies.

Bill sponsor Addia Wuchner said the bill is aimed at curbing the supply of opioid-based painkillers, which are highly addictive and have led to a record number of overdose deaths in Kentucky and nationwide.