Bill Summary for H 351 (2021-2022)
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AN ACT DIRECTING THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO ESTABLISH VISITATION PROTOCOLS FOR NURSING HOMES, COMBINATION HOMES, AND ADULT CARE HOMES, INCLUDING FAMILY CARE HOMES, DURING DECLARED DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES AND REQUIRING THESE FACILITIES TO ADHERE TO THE ESTABLISHED VISITATION PROTOCOLS DURING DECLARED DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES WHEN NORMAL VISITATION POLICIES ARE SUSPENDED OR CURTAILED.Intro. by Dixon, Lambeth, White, Moss.
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Includes whereas clauses. Enacts GS 131E-112.5 to require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS Secretary) to establish visitation protocols for residents of nursing homes, combination homes, and hospice care facilities that will become effective during a disaster declaration or emergency that results in the suspension or curtailment of the facility's normal visitation policy for any reason. Defines normal visitation policy to mean the visitation policy that was in effect at a facility on January 1, 2020. Lists three minimum requirements for the protocols, including that each resident has the right to designate one preapproved visitor and one preapproved alternative visitor to be allowed to visit the resident at least twice a month during any period of time during which the facility's normal visitation policy is suspended or curtailed for any reason during a declared disaster or emergency. Requires the DHHS Secretary to consult with licensed operators of nursing homes, combination homes, and hospice care facilities and other relevant stakeholders in establishing the protocols. Defines disaster declaration, emergency, and facility.
Enacts GS 131E-112.6 (concerning licensed nursing homes and combination homes) and GS 131E-207.5 (concerning licensed hospice care facilities) to define the effectiveness of the protocols established by the DHHS Secretary under new GS 131E-112.5 to be during any period of time when (1) there is a declared disaster or emergency, and (2) a licensed nursing home or combination home, or a licensed hospice care facility, respectively, suspends or restricts the normal visitation policy for any reason.
Requires the DHHS Secretary to implement the visitation protocols established under new GS 131E-112.5 by March 15, 2022, and submit a summarizing report of the protocols to the specified NCGA committee chairs at least 30 days prior to implementation.