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Gov. DeSantis Signs No Patient Left Alone Act (WATCH)

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Gov. DeSantis signed on Wednesday a bill that would require the right to in-person visits at hospitals.

Countless Americans died in medical facilities while separated from their loved ones, and the “No Patient Left Alone Act” rectifies the atrocious treatment of medical patients during the ‘pandemic.’

The legislation would require hospitals, nursing facilities, hospices, assisted living facilities and care centers for the developmentally disabled to allow in-person visits.

WATCH:

From the governor’s press release:

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 988, the No Patient Left Alone Act, to guarantee Florida families the fundamental right to visit their loved ones who are receiving care in hospitals, hospices, and long-term care facilities. No health care facility in Florida may require a vaccine as a condition of visitation and every health care facility must allow their residents and patients to be hugged by their loved ones.
“Throughout the pandemic, the federal government has waived protections for families to visit their loved ones in hospitals and long-term care facilities. That is unacceptable,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Here in Florida, we recognize that family and human connection is one of the most important aspects of physical, mental, and emotional well-being and we are ensuring Floridians are never again denied the right to see their relatives and friends while in hospitals or nursing homes.”
“It is wonderful to see the rights of hospital and nursing home patients protected and signed into law,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Patients shouldn’t be denied the right to see their loved ones, especially during life’s difficult moments. Thank you to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for prioritizing this important issue. Hopefully, this law will bring much peace, comfort, and clarity to Floridians.”
Although the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reinstated federal visitation protections for long term care facilities in late 2020, CMS continues to waive visitation policies for hospitals enabling them to not allow visitors for patients. With the signing of this legislation, Florida law now guarantees this right. 
“Understanding firsthand the emotional toll of caring for my father during the pandemic, this bill is a necessity not only for patients, but also family members that desperately want to play an active and in-person role in their loved ones’ care,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez.
“Over the past year, I have seen the struggles that residents have experienced in hospitals and long-term care facilities where they were unable to visit with their family,” said Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller. “I applaud the Governor and Florida Legislature for taking this very important step to guarantee visitation as a fundamental right for these residents. As Florida’s health care regulator, we take these matters seriously and stand ready to investigate any violations of this law.” 
SB 988 states health care facilities must allow in-person visitation in the following settings, unless the patient, resident, or client objects:
  • End-of-life situations.
  • A resident, client, or patient who was living with family before being admitted to the provider’s care is struggling with the change in environment and lack of in-person family support.
  • A resident, client, or patient is making one or more major medical decisions.
  • A resident, client, or patient is experiencing emotional distress or grieving the loss of a friend or family member who recently died.
  • A resident, client, or patient needs cueing or encouragement to eat or drink which was previously provided by a family member or caregiver.
  • A resident, client, or patient who used to talk and interact with others is seldom speaking.
  • For hospitals, childbirth, including labor and delivery.
  • Pediatric patients.

Watch the full video from the signing below:

 

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