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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Ohio House Passes Never Alone Act



COLUMBUS- The Ohio House of Representatives today unanimously passed House Bill 236, the Never Alone Act, announced bill sponsors, State Reps. Melanie Miller (R-City of Ashland) and Beth Lear (R-Galena). The bill ensures every patient has access to an advocate to be with them in a hospital, nursing home, or other congregate care setting - especially during a health emergency.

 

“Over the last three years, we have gained heightened awareness of the need to protect the rights of a patient to have access to a loved one or advocate to act on behalf of their best interest while in a hospital or care facility,” said Miller. “The Never Alone Act ensures that everyone has someone who can speak for them, when they do not have a voice.”

 

Specifically, the Never Alone Act:

 

  • Requires a congregate care setting to inform a patient or resident that the patient or resident may designate an individual to serve as an advocate and to provide the patient or resident the opportunity to make a designation.


  • Prohibits a congregate care setting from 1: denying a patient or resident access to an advocate and 2: prohibiting an advocate from being physically present with a patient or resident.


  • Prohibits a political subdivision, public official, or state agency from issuing an order or rule, or enforcing on behalf of the federal government a federal order or rule, that would require a care setting to violate the bill’s provisions.


  • Requires the Department of Health to create a Never Alone information sheet and each congregate care setting to provide each patient or resident with a copy at the time of admission.

 

“The Never Alone Act is a patient and resident-centered bill. Our goal was to protect Ohioans when they are most vulnerable and ensure they have access to a loved one to hold their hand or provide comfort,” said Lear.  “The isolation that caused our citizens to suffer and die alone during COVID should never be allowed to happen again.”


The Never Alone Act now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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