Senate Backs Bill To Give Information To Patient Caregivers

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The Louisiana Senate has unanimously supported a bill aimed at giving more information to people who will care for patients when they are discharged from hospitals.

         AARP Louisiana, which is pushing the measure, says 21 other states have similar laws.

         The bill would require hospitals to give each patient the opportunity to designate a caregiver. Hospitals would have to attempt to consult with designated caregivers and give them discharge plans describing patients' after-care assistance needs.

         The proposal by Sen. Yvonne Dorsey Colomb, a Baton Rouge Democrat, was approved with a 36-0 vote Tuesday. It heads next to the House for debate.

         AARP Louisiana estimates 660,000 people are caring for aging parents or other loved ones, support that helps keep people out of nursing homes.

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