§ 23-17.27-2. Caregiver designation.
(a) Any hospital licensed pursuant to this title shall provide each patient or, if applicable, the patient's legal guardian with an opportunity to designate at least one caregiver under this chapter following the patient's entry into a hospital.
(1) In the event that the patient is unconscious or otherwise incapacitated upon his or her entry into a hospital, the hospital shall provide such patient, or his/her legal guardian, with an opportunity to designate a caregiver within a given timeframe, at the discretion of the attending physician or other health care professional, following the patient's recovery of consciousness of capacity. The hospital shall inform the patient that the purpose of providing a caregiver's identity is to include that caregiver and discharge planning and sharing of post-discharge care information or instruction.
(2) In the event that the patient, or the patient's legal guardian, declines to designate a caregiver under this chapter, the hospital shall promptly document this in the patient's medical record.
(3) In the event that the patient or the patient's legal guardian designates an individual as a caregiver under this chapter:
(i) The hospital shall record the patient's designation of the caregiver, the relationship of the designated caregiver to the patient, and the name, telephone number, and the address of the patient's designated caregiver in the patient's medical record.
(ii) The hospital shall promptly request the written consent of the patient, or the patient's legal guardian, to release medical information to the patient's designated caregiver following the hospital's established procedures for releasing personal health information and in compliance with all federal and state laws.
(A) If the patient or the patient's legal guardian declines to consent to release medical information to the patient's designated caregiver, the hospital is not required to provide notice to the caregiver under § 23-17.27-4 or provide information contained in the patient's discharge plan under § 23-17.27-5.
(4) A patient, or the patient's legal guardian, may elect to change the patient's designated caregiver at any time, and the hospital must record this change in the patient's medical record before the patient's discharge.
(b) A designation of a caregiver by a patient or patient's legal guardian under this section does not obligate any individual to perform any after-care tasks for any patient.
(c) This section shall not be construed to require a patient, or a patient's legal guardian, to designate any individual as a caregiver as defined by this chapter.
(d) In the event that the patient is a minor child, and the parents of the patient are divorced, the custodial parent shall have the authority to designate a caregiver. If the parents have joint custody of the patient, they shall jointly designate the caregiver.
(P.L. 2015, ch. 95, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 115, § 1.)