Seal of the State of Georgia

Proposed Legislation Would Allow Caregivers to Assist Seniors with Hospital Discharge

I was pleased to see that the House health panel of the Georgia State Legislature has given its approval to move forward on House Bill 1304, also known as the “Georgia Caregivers Act.” The bill would allow hospitalized patients to include a caregiver in their discharge planning upon release from the hospital.

The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Lee Hawkins (R) of Gainesville, believes the bill is needed because, “We see patients being discharged sooner than they used to.”

When the patients leave the hospital, caregivers are frequently trying to manage tasks such as medication management and wound care. Including them in the discharge process will help them understand how to best provide for their loved ones, which in turn, may prevent the patient from being readmitted to the hospital.

Advocates for seniors are pleased, as the number of hospital readmissions is significant. It was reported recently that Medicare will penalize nearly half of the nation’s hospitals for excessive patient readmissions, including 81 in Georgia.

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