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COVID: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

In the United States, there are legal mandates that state medical centers must follow existing guidelines in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (RA), and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). North Carolina has recently passed legislation that mandates disabled patients have rights to have a caregiver with them during medical procedures, treatments, doctor appointments and surgeries, even during a pandemic, as stated in the SB 730: No Patient Left Alone Act.


The United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights states specifically that hospitals must “keep in mind their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability” and that the federal disability rights laws “remain in effect” even during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Americans with Disabilities Act states in Titles II and III that health care facilities are mandated to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. These accommodations include the presence of a caregiver/patient advocate during medical events who can provide the patient with necessary support services, including communication with healthcare providers, support managing mental or physical health and other unique medical needs such as assistance with medical devices.

Legally, no medical facility can deny a disabled person’s right to a caregiver/patient advocate present, even during the COVID pandemic.

If you have been denied these rights, print the DISABLED COVID RIGHTS PDF and provide it to the medical facility who has denied you


SIGN THE PETITION

Petition to Expand the SB 730:

No Patient Left Alone Act

CIAAG has partnered with Adrenal Fund Foundation to address the serious issues COVID-19 restrictions are having on millions of citizens with rare diseases and/or chronic illnesses.


Patients with continuous ongoing treatments such as dialysis, chemotherapy and IV infusion medications, now forced to be alone during these already difficult treatment sessions. This increases their suffering and has potential mental health implications, which then can adversely impact their overall health and wellbeing.

There are great concerns regarding the increased potential for patient endangerment and medical errors in patients with rare disease protocols without caregivers and advocates present.


Facilities, hospitals and treatment centers are citing COVID-19 as the rationalization behind restricting visitor access are not complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which clearly states in Titles II and III that health care facilities are mandated to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. 

These accommodations can include visitors who provide the patient with support services, such as behavioral and/or emotional support, communications and support managing the patients medications and other unique needs. There are several federal disability civil rights laws that apply to hospitals including, but not limited to, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (RA), and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). All of these statutes protect people with disabilities yet facilities, medical centers and hospitals across the nation are denying chronically ill patients a basic human rights of support and comfort of a loved one during medical experiences, citing COVID-19 restrictions as the reasoning. The ADA, RA, and ACA laws are still enforceable during the the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights issued a statement specifically reminding hospitals that they must “keep in mind their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability” and that the federal disability rights laws “remain in effect” even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bill Proposal: Expanding the SB 730 – No Patient Left Alone Act BILL ANALYSIS: S730 contains the "No Patient Left Alone Act" which ensures the visitation rights of hospital patients during a period in which a disaster, emergency, or public health emergency has been declared.


GOAL: Proposing expansion on the No Patient Left Alone Act, originally passed in North Carolina. We are proposing a standard protocol outlined in a legislative bill that will mandate nationwide protocols that allow chronically ill patients to have a caregiver with them during medical procedures/treatments.


SOLUTION: Standard legislation that mandates medical centers must follow existing guidelines in Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (RA), and Section1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). There needs to be legislation that allows chronically ill patients to have a caregiver with them during medical procedures, treatments and surgeries even during a pandemic. highlighting part of me and selecting the options from the toolbar.

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