Bill Summary for S 322 (2017-2018)

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Summary date: 

Mar 21 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 322 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Intro. by Lowe, Pate, Hise.

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Bill summary

Entitles the act as The Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable Act of 2017 (The Care Act).

Enacts GS 131E-79.5, Designation of a caregiver, to require each licensed hospital to provide each patient or the patient's legal guardian with at least one opportunity to designate at least one caregiver no later than 24 hours following the patient's entry into a hospital, or within 24 hours following the patient's recovery of consciousness or capacity, and prior to the patient's discharge or transfer to another facility. Defines caregiver to mean any individual duly designated by a patient or the patient's legal guardian as a caregiver pursuant to subsection (b) of the statute and who provides after-care assistance to a patient living in the patient's residence. Clarifies that the term caregiver includes a relative, partner, friend, or neighbor who has a significant relationship with the patient. Also defines discharge, entry, and residence.

Sets forth provisions that apply if a patient or the patient's legal guardian elect to designate a caregiver, including requiring the hospital to promptly request written consent of the patient or legal guardian to release medical information to the caregiver and requiring the hospital to record the designated caregiver in the patient's medical record. Requires the hospital to document the patient or legal guardian's decision to decline to designate a caregiver. Clarifies that designation of a caregiver does not obligate any individual to perform any after-care tasks for any patient. Defines after-care as any assistance provided by a caregiver to a patient after the patient's discharge from a hospital, including assistance with basic activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, or carrying out medical or nursing tasks, such as managing wound care, assisting in the administration of medications, and operating medical equipment. 

Requires the hospital to notify the patient's designated caregiver no later than four hours prior to the patient's actual discharge or transfer to another hospital or licensed facility. Requires the hospital to consult with the designated caregiver and the patient within 24 hours prior to a patient's discharge from a hospital and issue a discharge plan that describes the patient's after-care needs at the patient's residence. Requires the discharge plan to include the name and contact information of the designated caregiver; a description of all after-care tasks necessary to maintain the patient's ability to reside at home, taking into account the capabilities and limitations of the designated caregiver; and the contact information for any health care, community resources, and long-term services and supports necessary to successfully carry out the patient's discharge. Requires the hospital issuing the discharge plan to provide designated caregivers with instructions for all after-care tasks described in the discharge plan, and sets forth parameters that the instructions must include including a live demonstration of the after-care tasks and an opportunity for the designated caregiver and the patient or legal guardian to ask questions and have those questions answered in a competent manner. Requires any instructions provided pursuant to the Care Act to be documented in the patient's medical record as specified.

Allows the Division of Health Service Regulation to adopt necessary rules to implement the Care Act. Clarifies that the Care Act is not to interfere with the rights of an agent operating under a valid health care power of attorney or other valid advance health care directive. Clarifies that the Care Act does not require a patient or a patient's legal guardian to designate any individual as a caregiver. Establishes that the Care Act does not create a private right of action against a hospital or a hospital employee or contractor, or otherwise supersede or replace existing rights or remedies under any other law.

Effective January 1, 2018.