Governor Steve Bullock today signed legislation to better coordinate care, decrease hospital readmissions, improve health outcomes, and save the state and taxpayers money. The Montana Caregiver Act, House Bill 163, will give family caregivers the tools they need to help their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.
“Helping make sure our caregivers have the knowledge they need helps the patient and the care provider,” said Governor Bullock. “This will lead to better health outcomes and reduced costs.”
The Montana Caregiver Act allows a patient to designate a caregiver in the patient’s medical record when they enter a hospital, and requires the hospital to notify and meet with the designated caregiver to discuss the patient’s plan of care prior to the patient’s discharge or transfer to another facility.
The Montana Caregiver Act was sponsored by Representative Geraldine Custer and received bipartisan support.
“This is a trifecta for the state, patients, and facilities,” said Representative Custer. “It doesn’t cost the state and it gives the caregiver first-hand information on their patient’s aftercare. This will prevent readmissions and give better patient outcomes in the comfort of their own homes.”
This model legislation by AARP has already been adopted in 33 states and recognizes the critical role that family caregivers play in keeping their loved ones out of costly institutions. Many of these caregivers end up helping with medication, wound care, and even IVs and injections. This legislation will assist caregivers with receiving adequate training and information.