Oregon Senate Provides Final Passage of the CARE Act
SALEM, OREGON, May 27, 2015 – Today the Oregon Senate passed the Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act (HB 3378) with a unanimous vote of support. The bill now goes to Governor Kate Brown for her signature, as it passed the House of Representatives on April 30th. This bill helps family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The CARE Act requires hospitals to adopt policies to ensure that:
• The name of the family caregiver is recorded when a loved one is admitted into a hospital;
• The family caregiver is notified if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home; and,
• The hospital provides an explanation and live instruction of the medical tasks – such as medication management, injections, wound care, and transfers – that the family caregiver will perform at home.
“Family caregivers are the backbone of providing long-term supports and services in Oregon,” said Jon Bartholomew, AARP Oregon Government Relations Director. “More than 460,000 unpaid caregivers in the state help care for aging parents, spouses and other loved ones so they can remain at home – as opposed to costly institutions. These family caregivers provide unpaid care valued at a staggering $5.5 BILLION annually.”
Family caregivers are increasingly required to undertake tasks that were once in the domain of only doctors and nurses: complex medication management, wound care, injections. Yet, many receive little or no training for these duties.
Rep. Mitch Greenlick, who sponsored the bill noted, "so much of post-hospital care these days is undertaken by family members and friends. This bill helps the hospitals better prepare those people for their critical role in the care of their love ones."
"Thousands of Oregonians are taking care of loved ones after a hospital stay. I have been one of them,” added Rep. Nancy Nathanson, who also sponsored HB 3378. “I know that family caregivers need help to provide the best care at home they can. This legislation will help ensure better health, better care, and lower costs."
A recent AARP survey of Oregon registered voters age 45 and older, found that 91% support requiring hospitals to explain and demonstrate medical tasks; and four in five support keeping family caregivers informed of medical decisions regarding the patient (86%) and requiring hospitals to record the family caregiver’s information in the patient’s medical record (82%).
"As someone who has seen my fair share of caregiving for family, this legislation is a welcome proposal. It goes without saying that treating family caregivers as part of the care team is something all hospitals should be doing. Thanks to the CARE Act, it will be,” said Janet Martinez, a Portland resident who is caring for her 93 year old Mother, in testimony recently on HB 3378.
AARP Oregon State Director Jerry Cohen added, “It gives us peace of mind to know that if I have to be hospitalized, my spouse shall be engaged and supported with some training when I am to be discharged.”
The CARE Act now moves to the governor’s desk for her signature. The legislation has no cost to the state taxpayers and is supported by a broad group of stakeholders, including Providence Health Systems and the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
This AARP telephone survey on caregiving was conducted among Oregon voters age 45 and older. The survey was fielded from July 14th to 17th, 2014. A total of 800 interviews were completed and the sample was weighted to reflect the age and gender of the registered voter population age 45 and older in Oregon. The margin of sampling error for this random sample is +/- 3.5 percent. A complete copy of the survey, The Growing Dimensions of Caregiving in America: 2014 AARP Oregon Caregiving Survey<http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-2014/oregon-caregiving-i..., can be found athttp://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-2014/oregon-caregiving-i....
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