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Ohio House Passes Never Alone Act

June 17, 2024
Justin Pizzulli News

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COLUMBUS –The Ohio House of Representatives last week unanimously passed House Bill 236, the Never Alone Act, announced State Rep. Justin Pizzulli (R-Scioto County). Pizzulli signed on as a co-sponsor to the legislation.

The Act will ensure every patient has access to an advocate to be with them in a hospital, nursing home, or other congregate care setting, especially during a health emergency. This legislation is a direct response to the COVID-19 health emergency.

“The Never Alone Act ensures every patient has a voice,” said Pizzulli. “It was devastating to see so many individuals suffer alone during the COVID pandemic, and this legislation will ensure it does not happen again. It’s important that every patient has someone advocating for their needs when they are not able to.”

Specifically, the Never Alone Act will achieve the following:

  • Require a congregate care setting to inform a patient or resident that the patient or resident may designate an individual to serve as an advocate and to provide the patient or resident the opportunity to make a designation;
  • Prohibit a congregate care setting from 1: denying a patient or resident access to an advocate and 2: prohibiting an advocate from being physically present with a patient or resident;
  • Prohibit a political subdivision, public official, or state agency from issuing an order or rule, or enforcing on behalf of the federal government a federal order or rule, that would require a care setting to violate the bill’s provisions; and
  • Require the Department of Health to create a Never Alone information sheet and each congregate care setting to provide each patient or resident with a copy at the time of admission.

The Never Alone Act now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.