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Indiana Lawmakers Introduce Health Facility Visitation Bill

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

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

Senate Bill 202, authored by Senator Linda Rogers (R-Indianapolis), would require the state department of health to implement the essential family caregiver program during a public health emergency, a declared emergency, or a 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 this is passed into law, Senate Bill 202 would allow for the designation of 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 restrict visitors at times during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specific requirements would be in place for an individual to be designated as an essential family caregiver, these 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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