Expanding visitation in health care facilities

Expanding visitation in health care facilities

Friday, April 16, 2021

Over the past year, many Hoosiers were unable to visit their loved ones in health care facilities during the pandemic. As a result of visitation restrictions, patients were forced to manage their affairs and make tough decisions without the comfort of loved ones to support them.

To ensure that every patient in long-term care facilities and hospitals has the opportunity to feel supported by their family in person, the General Assembly recently passed Senate Enrolled Act 202.

SEA 202 would expand visitation at long-term care facilities and hospitals by requiring these facilities to participate in the Compassionate Care Program and the Essential Caregiver Program, which were both established by the Indiana State Department of Health and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

These programs allow a designated person to be deemed an essential family caregiver, permitting the individual to visit the resident they care for, even when visitation is halted due to a declared emergency, public health emergency or similar crisis.

This bill would also provide civil immunity to long-term care facilities participating in the programs unless their behavior constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

SEA 202 will now go to the governor for further consideration. To view other bills being considered this legislative session, click here.