THE NO PATIENT LEFT ALONE ACT.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 730 (Public) Filed Wednesday, May 13, 2020
AN ACT PROVIDING PATIENT VISITATION RIGHTS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DIVISION OF HEALTH SERVICE REGULATION, TO DEVELOP AND DISSEMINATE TO HOSPITALS FREE INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS EXPLAINING THESE RIGHTS, AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA POLICY COLLABORATORY TO CARRY OUT A STATEWIDE TESTING, TRACKING, AND TRACING INITIATIVE FOR COVID-19 RESEARCH AND BUSINESS REOPENING PURPOSES AND TO PROVIDE GRANTS TO BUSINESSES THAT CLOSED AS A RESULT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
Intro. by Daniel, Perry, Krawiec.

Status: Failed Concur In H Com Sub (Senate action) (Jun 25 2020)

SOG comments (3):

Long title change

Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition changed the long title.  Original title was AN ACT PROVIDING FOR CERTAIN UNRESTRICTED HOSPITAL PATIENT RIGHTS THAT WILL NOT BE IMPACTED DURING DECLARED DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES; AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DIVISION OF HEALTH SERVICE REGULATION, TO DEVELOP AND DISSEMINATE TO HOSPITALS FREE INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS EXPLAINING THESE RIGHT.

Long title change

House committee substitute to the 4th edition changed the long title.  Previous title was AN ACT PROVIDING PATIENT VISITATION RIGHTS THAT WILL NOT BE IMPACTED DURING DECLARED DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DIVISION OF HEALTH SERVICE REGULATION, TO DEVELOP AND DISSEMINATE TO HOSPITALS FREE INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS EXPLAINING THESE RIGHTS.

Long title change

House amendment to the 5th edition changed the long title.  Previous title was AN ACT PROVIDING PATIENT VISITATION RIGHTS AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, DIVISION OF HEALTH SERVICE REGULATION, TO DEVELOP AND DISSEMINATE TO HOSPITALS FREE INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS EXPLAINING THESE RIGHTS, AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA POLICY COLLABORATORY TO CARRY OUT A STATEWIDE TESTING, TRACKING, AND TRACING INITIATIVE FOR COVID-19 RESEARCH AND BUSINESS REOPENING PURPOSES.

Bill History:

S 730

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jun 25 2020 - More information

    House amendment makes the following changes to the 5th edition.

    Adds the following provisions.

    Directs the State Controller to transfer $100 million for 2020-21 from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (both established in SL 2020-4). Appropriates the transferred funds to the Office of State Budget and Management to be allocated to the Department of Commerce for the following described grant program. Creates the COVID-19 Safe Business Program (program) to be administered by the Economic Investment Committee (Committee) to provide a one-time grant up to $50,000 to each qualifying business, defined to include an entity subject to income tax that ceased business operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during the COVID-19 period. Prioritizes businesses that did not participate in the Paycheck Protection Program, the Main Street Lending Program, or the Rapid Recovery Loan Program, and have not applied for the Job Retention Grant program created under SL 2020-4, as enacted, and employed no more than 100 full-time employees, or full-time equivalent employees, for the pay period ending on or about February 28, 2020. Provides for grant applications and requires submission of applications by September 1, 2020. Caps total funds granted under the program at $100 million. Sets forth defined terms. 

    Changes the act's long title.


  • Summary date: Jun 24 2020 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 4th edition.

    Modifies proposed new GS 131E-79.3 to provide that a hospital must allow a support person of the patient's choice, who may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker, to be present during the patient's stay unless an enumerated exception applies. Requires hospitals to have written policies and procedures on visitation and to inform patients and support persons of their visitation rights. No longer includes provisions about visitation of minor patients; immediate family members of adult patients; limitations on the termination, suspension, or waiver of visitation rights; authorization for hospitals to conduct health screenings; or posting of informational materials. Makes conforming changes to the proposed statute's title.

    Adds the following provisions.

    Directs the State Controller to transfer $10 million from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (both established by SL 2020-4) for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Appropriates the transferred funds to the Office of State Management and Budget (OSBM) on a nonrecurring basis for the 2019-20 fiscal year to be allocated to UNC-Chapel Hill for the NC Policy Collaboratory (Collaboratory) to implement a statewide COVID-19 testing, tracking and tracing initiative for the reopening of businesses and the protection of public health. Requires the funds to be used for: (1) creating an internet-based portal for NC-based businesses with an interest in using testing, tracking, and tracing incentives to sign up as participants in the program; (2) selecting a geographically balanced representation of businesses based on the economic tier of the county of operation and the State's economic opportunity zones; (3) selecting a diverse sampling of businesses based on their sector; (4) selecting technologies to be deployed in businesses to carry out an effective testing, tracking, and tracing program; (5) collecting, synthesizing, visualizing, and reporting data to show the efficacy of public health best practices in conjunction with businesses remaining open; and (6) any other research or activity related to monitoring, assessing, or addressing the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

    Requires the Collaboratory to report to the specified NCGA committee on the progress of the use of appropriated funds received by September 1, 2020. 

    Provides that the specified provisions of GS Chapter 143 and GS Chapter 116 do not apply to the purchase of apparatus, supplies, material, or equipment with any of the funds appropriated by the act.

    Restricts use of appropriated funds to necessary eligible expenditures incurred during the period beginning March 1, 2020, and ending on December 30, 2020. Provides for the funds to remain available until December 30, 2020, or until the later of June 30, 2022, or a date authorized by a congressional act allowing for the use of federal CARES Act funds beyond December 30, 2020, if the CARES Act is amended.

    Changes the act's long title.


  • Summary date: Jun 19 2020 - More information

    Senate amendment makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Modifies the appropriations provisions to provide for the funds appropriated for patient rights informational materials to be appropriated for 2020-21, rather than 2019-20. Additionally, makes the appropriations provisions effective July 1, 2020.


  • Summary date: Jun 17 2020 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Senate committee substitute amends the 2nd edition by amending Section 4 to specify that the appropriation is from the General Fund, and adding two new sections to reenact and incorporate the State Budget Act, GS 143C, by reference, and to provide for the continued validity of 2019 legislative appropriating funds to entities covered by the act, unless expressly repealed or amended.


  • Summary date: Jun 11 2020 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Changes the act's long title and adds several whereas clauses.

    Makes the following changes to proposed GS 131E-79.3. Changes the proposed title from "Visitation rights of hospital patients" to "Patient visitation rights during a disaster declaration or public health emergency." Now requires licensed hospitals to ensure the opportunity for at least one visitor to visit a patient admitted to a facility during a period in which a disaster, emergency, or public health emergency has been declared. 

    Modifies proposed language to provide for a minor who is admitted to a licensed hospital the opportunity to have at least one parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis the opportunity to visit and be present while the minor is receiving hospital care (previously, established the right for any minor admitted to a licensed hospital to designate a parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis to have the unrestricted privilege of being present while the minor patient is receiving hospital care). Adds that custody orders or written child custody agreements control, if applicable. Subjects visitors to normal visitation policies. Requires visitors to have access to a waiting area when the visitor cannot be in the room with the patient.

    Requires one immediate family member, as defined, or designated health care agent to have the opportunity to visit an adult admitted to a licensed facility, subject to normal visitation policies (previously, established the right for every adult admitted to a licensed hospital to designate a spouse or health care agent to have the unrestricted privilege of being present while the adult is receiving hospital care). Requires visitors to have access to a waiting area when the visitor cannot be in the room with the patient. Permits patients with capacity to designate the one visitor.

    Adds authority for licensed hospitals to require visitors to submit to health screenings, and restrict visitors who do not pass the screening or who test positive for an infectious disease. Further, authorizes hospitals to require visitors to adhere to infection control procedures.

    Makes clarifying and conforming changes.


  • Summary date: May 13 2020 - More information

    Enacts GS 131E-79.3 to establish the right for any minor admitted to a licensed hospital to designate a parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis to have the unrestricted privilege of being present while the minor patient is receiving hospital care. Similarly, establishes the right for every adult admitted to a licensed hospital to designate a spouse or health care agent to have the unrestricted privilege of being present while the adult is receiving hospital care. Provides for the rights to be superior and unaffected by any termination, suspension or waiver by the hospital, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), or a gubernatorial disaster or emergency declaration. Bars licensed hospitals from requiring a patient to waive the rights granted by the statute. Mandates that each licensed hospital post information materials developed by DHHS explaining the rights specified in a conspicuous place on the licensed premises.

    Directs DHHS, Division of Service Regulation (DSR) to develop and disseminate the informational materials to licensed hospitals pursuant to new GS 131E-79.3. Appropriates $5,000 to DSR for this purpose.


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