NJ Bill would require Hospitals to Instruct Family-Caregivers on Patient Care

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by Mark R. Friedman

New Jersey may soon require hospitals discharging patients to educate their caregivers. When a patient is sent home, medical professionals would have to provide instructions on how to care for the patient to a loved one whom the patient designates.

So says a caregiver education bill before the New Jersey legislature. The bill has been approved by the Assembly, but is reportedly being held up in Senate, with hospitals requesting time to negotiate certain provisions. (Many hospitals already provide instruction to caregivers, but the bill would make it mandatory for all New Jersey hospitals.)

The bill is intended to ensure that family-caregivers (such as the patient’s spouse or children) are equipped with the knowledge required to care for their loved ones at home. In doing so, the bill seeks to reduce costly hospital admissions that could be prevented by competent care, and save money for patients and the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

We think this is an excellent idea, where possible. However, many patients’ needs will be beyond the capabilities of family-caregivers. For people who require twenty-four hour supervision, have complex medical needs, or do not have family members capable of caring for them, then care at home is probably infeasible. Long term care in a nursing home or assisted living facility may be necessary. If that is the case, Medicaid can pay for your long term care, and FriedmanLaw can help you obtain Medicaid in the most favorable manner.

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