CMS releases final rule on same-sex patient visits
The CMS issued final rules regarding the treatment of hospital visitors, including those who are same-sex domestic partners. The CMS rules require “written policies and procedures detailing patients’ visitation rights” for Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals, according to a CMS news release. Included is a provision that says all visitors chosen by the patient can have “full and equal” visitation privileges, the CMS said. The policies also must state the circumstances in which clinical reasons may prevent visitation. The “rules help give ‘full and equal’ rights to all of us to choose whom we want by our bedside when we are sick, and override any objection by a hospital or staffer who may disagree with us for any nonclinical reason,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in the release. The rules follow an April 15 order from President Barack Obama that required HHS to develop more inclusive visitation standards.