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.
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.