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Should the Hospital Inform a Family Caregiver If a Patient is Discharged?

Should the Hospital Inform a Family Caregiver About Discharge?Hospitals will soon be required to provide information to caregivers about their loved one’s discharge and instructions for administering medical aftercare.

Thanks to the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, patients in New York hospitals will be allowed to designate a caregiver in their medical record. Once the caregiver is designated, the hospital is required to inform the caregiver when the patient is to be discharged and provide the caregiver with education and instruction of the medical tasks the caregiver will need to perform for the patient at home.

This new law will help an estimated 2.6 million family caregivers throughout New York to become involved in the discharge process and help ease the transition from hospital to home. It will also provide patients peace of mind in knowing that their loved ones will be adequately involved and sufficiently informed about the discharge process and the necessary post-discharge medical treatment.

The new law, which was signed into law in October 2015, will not become effective until April 2016. While patients will now have the ability to designate their caregivers, it does not require them to do so, and it is still up to the patient to provide this information. However, once the patient authorizes the hospital to designate a caregiver, the hospital has the affirmative duty to inform and educate the caregiver upon discharge of the patient.

While this law will undoubtedly help millions of caregivers and patients throughout New York, it is important to note that it does not impact the rights of an agent under a health care proxy.

At this point, New York is one of 18 states, as well as Washington, D.C., to enact the CARE Act. Please contact us with questions or comments.

Eric J. Einhart

Eric J. Einhart
Russo Law Group, P.C.
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530
800-680-1717

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