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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Equal Hospital Visitation Rights is a Go

"Basic human rights - such as your ability to choose your own support system in a time of need - must not be checked at the door of America’s hospitals... Today’s rules help give ‘full and equal’ rights to all of us to choose whom we want by our bedside when we are sick, and override any objection by a hospital or staffer who may disagree with us for any non-clinical reason." Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, November 17, 2010.

"§ 482.13 Condition of participation: Patient’s rights.
(h) Standard: Patient visitation rights.
A hospital must have written policies and procedures regarding the visitation rights of patients, including those setting forth any clinically necessary or reasonable restriction or limitation that the hospital may need to place on such rights and the reasons for the clinical restriction or limitation. A hospital must meet the following requirements: (1) Inform each patient (or support person, where appropriate) of his or her visitation rights, including any clinical restriction or limitation on such rights, when he or she is informed of his or her other rights under this section. (2) Inform each patient (or support person, where appropriate) of the right, subject to his or her consent, to receive the visitors whom he or she designates, including, but not limited to, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a samesex domestic partner), another family member, or a friend, and his or her right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time. (3) Not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. (4) Ensure that all visitors enjoy full and equal visitation privileges consistent with patient preferences."

Donald M. Berwick, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; approved November 15, 2010, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health & Human Services. Department of HHS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - 42 CFR Parts 482 and 485: Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Changes to the Hospital and Critical Access Hospital Conditions of Participation To Ensure Visitation Rights for All Patients. Agency: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Action: Final rule.

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