Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Chairman Joseph Vitale deserve credit for sponsoring the Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act. It has broad bipartisan support.
AARP has worked diligently with the sponsors and many stakeholders including the New Jersey Hospital Association to craft a bill that accomplishes key goals in the most effective, efficient manner without burdening healthcare institutions and professionals. This has involved many amendments, mostly technical in nature, and thanks to Speaker Prieto and Senator Vitale’s steadfast support and the advice of the NJHA, the bill will hopefully reach Gov. Chris Christie by the end of the year.
The CARE Act will ensure patients can appoint someone as a designated caregiver upon arrival to a hospital. This is important for the patient because unpaid caregivers can make the difference between a healthy recovery post-discharge and a return to the emergency room. The bill will make sure caregivers are notified when the patient is being discharged and that the caregiver will receive effective instruction on how to complete the medical tasks at home. This bill could reduce hospital readmissions, improve quality of care and save hospitals and patients time, trouble and money.
AARP Advocate (volunteer)