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.
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.