Indiana Lawmakers Introduce Health Facility Visitation Bill

Many health and residential facilities have had to restricted visitors at times during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shutterstock photo.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana lawmakers have introduced a bill that requires health facilities and residential care facilities to allow visitation of a resident in a compassionate care situation.

Senate Bill 202, authored by Sen. Linda Rogers (R-Indianapolis), would require the state department of health to implement the essential family caregiver program during a declared emergency, a public health emergency, or similar crisis.

The bill also requires facilities to participate in the program. However, the state department of health will be allowed to adopt certain rules concerning the program.

If passed into law, SB 202 would allow for the designation of an essential family caregiver for a resident of a facility and allows for visitation during restricted visitation at the facility. Many health and residential facilities have had to restricted visitors at times during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There would be specific requirements for an individual to be designated as an essential family caregiver. Those specific requirements have yet to be released.

The following statement was issued from Indiana Caregivers for Compromise:

"Senate Bill 202 is now on file to address and repair the state’s woefully inadequate Essential Caregiver program on nursing home visitation. Most families have been locked out since March with only sporadic visits between COVID-19 surges in long-term care. Families have lost loved ones due to lack of oversight and the inability to check on general welfare and health. Facilities have broad and unchecked discretion to keep us out – even at end of life. We have high hopes that Sen. Linda Rogers’ bill will work to address and recognize the massive loss residents, caregivers and their extended families have been suffering through the pandemic. We look forward to working with the senator on meaningful legislation.”

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