HHS clarifies patient visitation rights

HHS' Office of Civil Rights issued guidance Jan. 25, outlining healthcare organizations' obligations to ensure visitation policies do not discriminate against patients on the basis of race, religion or other protected characteristics. 

OCR said it received numerous complaints and questions about visitation rights during the pandemic, as many hospitals implemented restrictions in 2020 to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

The resource includes answers to 15 frequently asked questions about patient visitation rights to ensure that all hospitals participating in Medicare and Medicaid "are aware of their obligations and are better able to serve people, including during any future public health emergency," HHS said. 

View the full guidance here.

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