AN ACT ENACTING THE NORTH CAROLINA CAREGIVERS ACT.
Enacts new GS 131E-79.5 as follows. Requires hospitals to give each patient or, if applicable, the patient's legal guardian at least one opportunity to designate at least one caregiver as soon as possible following the patient's admission and before the patient is discharged or transferred. Requires documentation of a patient's decision to not name a caregiver. If a caregiver is designated, then: (1) the hospital must request written consent to release medical information to the designated caregiver and (2) if consent is not given to release medical information to the designated caregiver, then the hospital is not required to provide to the designated caregiver the discharge or transfer notice or the discharge plan instructions. Requires recording the caregiver's specified information. Allows for changing the designated caregiver at any time. Requires a good faith effort to notify the designated caregiver of the patient's discharge or transfer. Requires a hospital, as soon as possible before a patient's discharge from a hospital, to consult with the patient and designated caregiver on the caregiver's capabilities and limitations and issue a discharge plan that describes a patient's aftercare needs at the patient's residence. Specifies that the statute does not interfere with the rights of an agent operating under a valid health care power of attorney or other valid advance health care directive. Nothing in the statute (1) creates a private right of action against a hospital, a hospital employee, or an individual with whom a hospital has a contractual relationship, or to otherwise supersede or replace existing rights or remedies under any other provision of law or (2) makes a hospital, hospital employee, or an individual with whom a hospital has a contractual relationship liable, in any way, for the services rendered or not rendered by a designated caregiver after the patient is discharged.
Applies to hospital admissions occurring on or after January 1, 2020.
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