Earlier this year, President Obama called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create new rules for Medicare and Medicaid hospitals that would allow patients the right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay. The Presidential Memorandum instructed HHS to develop rules that would prohibit hospitals from denying visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued that rule – a rule that will let patients decide whom they want by their bedside when they are sick – and that includes a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner. The rule presents an important step forward in giving all Americans more control over their health care.
The new rules:
CMS finalized the rules based on thousands of comments from patient advocates, the hospital community, and other stakeholders. The rules will be effective 60 days after publication.