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Relating to in-person visitation with hospital patients during certain periods of disaster.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2211 prevents a hospital from prohibiting in-person visitation of a patient during a qualifying period of disaster. HB 2211 does allow hospitals to restrict the number of visitors, require visitors to complete a health screening and wear personal protective equipment (PPE), and deny entry to a visitor who fails or refuses to submit to a health screening or wear PPE. This does not require a hospital to provide PPE to a visitor or allow in-person visitation with a patient receiving care or treatment if the physician determines that in-person visitation with the patient may lead to the transmission of an infectious agent that poses a serious community health risk. This kind of determination is valid for 5 days unless renewed by the physician.
HB 2211 would require a hospital to provide each day a detailed written or oral update of the patient's condition to a visitor denied entry, and notify the visitor of the date and time at which the patient will be discharged. The hospital only has to do this if the visitor is authorized by the patient to receive relevant health information; has authority to receive the patient's health information under an advanced directive or medical power of attorney; or is otherwise the patient's surrogate decision-maker.
HB 2211 represents a way to ensure that people in the hospital have access to their families and the outside world. This is a benefit for their individual liberty and the responsibility that families have for one another. This also benefits the free market by keeping hospitals honest in their treatment of patients and the level of care they provide. Texas Action supports HB 2211.