Thursday, April 24, 2014

House Votes to Help Patients and Caregivers

OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure approved today by the Oklahoma House of Representatives will improve post-discharge health outcomes and reduce costly hospital readmissions.


State Rep. Harold Wright is the House author of Senate Bill 1536, which was approved by a vote of 96-0.


“Oklahoma caregivers are increasingly being asked to perform nursing and medical task such as dispensing medications, administering injections and providing wound care,” said Wright, R-Weatherford. “This legislation creates a designated status for caregivers beyond the next-of-kin status to help them coordinate that care with hospitals.”


The legislation addresses the coordination of services provided by a designated caregiver to a patient after his or her discharge. At any given time, between 500,000-600,000 Oklahomans are providing some type of caregiving services and support to a loved one, friend or neighbor, according to AARP Oklahoma. 


“AARP applauds the House of Representatives for voting to advance Senate Bill 1536 and the leadership of Rep. Harold Wright,” said AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl. “Representative Wright has been a strong advocate for older Oklahomans for many years. SB 1536 is common-sense legislation that will help improve post-discharge health outcomes, reduce costly hospital readmissions and enable older Oklahomans to stay in their own homes longer. We urge the Oklahoma Senate to quickly approve House amendments and send SB 1536 to Governor Fallin.”


SB 1536 contains the following provisions:


  • The name of a caregiver is recorded when a loved one is admitted into a hospital facility, if the patient so desires and the designated individual consents;
  • The designated caregiver is notified of the patient’s discharge to another facility or back home as soon as practicable; and
  • The hospital must attempt to consult with the designated caregiver to prepare him or her for aftercare and issue a discharge plan describing the patient’s aftercare needs.


The legislation was amended and now returns to the Oklahoma Senate.




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