The Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act (CARE), signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on October 14, 2015, has been fully enacted as of January 7, 2016. The law requires hospitals to allow a caregiver to be added to a patient’s record when being admitted. The law goes further in requiring hospitals to keep the caregiver well informed about how to care for the patient, even training the caregiver before the patient is discharged.
In New York, there are approximately 4.1 million New Yorkers acting as caregivers, often for a family member, and many times unpaid. Caregivers are usually lacking in proper training because they are family or friends, which can increase the number of patient hospital or doctor visits. The New York State Senate estimates that the total value of unpaid care reaches approximately $32 billion each year.
CARE was enacted because of the strains on the health system, based on the fact that patients are often readmitted to a hospital when not receiving professional care at home. Additionally, in many instances caregivers are not kept updated about the patient’s care and what treatment is necessary after discharge. CARE enables caregivers to be better prepared to meet the needs of their loved one, which in turn will hopefully avoid preventable medical costs down the line. This law also comes at minimal cost to the taxpayers of New York, but substantially benefits the growing population of elderly individuals.
If you or someone you know is a caregiver for a loved one, it is best to consult with an experienced elder law attorney who can guide clients in making the necessary arrangements and help with protecting the rights of the caregiver and patient. The attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. are available for consultation by calling 866-825-1529.