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Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations Joins AARP in Support of the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act to Improve Hospital Care Transitions

The Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations (CGNO), whose membership includes over 28,700 nurses in long term care, joins AARP in support of the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act. The CARE Act codifies state law to assure each hospitalized patient has an opportunity to designate a caregiver in the hospital record, which action research has shown improves care transitions back into the community. Follow this on twitter with Elaine Ryan, AARP Vice President of State Government Affairs. Her handle is @Romethedomes. The CARE Act was passed by the OK state legislature in May, 2014 with the support of the Oklahoma Nurses Association.

AARP conducted research with the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing’s program Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) which has embedded geriatric models of care in over 470 hospitals across the country. They found that support of the caregiver improved both the caregiver and patient hospital experience. The key elements of the CARE Act include, designation of a caregiver in the hospital record, notification of the caregiver in a reasonable time prior to discharge, review of the discharge plan and demonstration by the caregiver that the care can be provided.

While the CARE Act applies to all hospitalized patients, frail elders with multiple chronic needs account for the vast majority of unnecessary rehospitalizations which cost Medicare $ 17 billion last year. Most post hospital care will continue to be provided by unpaid family or friend caregivers. They need as much support as the patient to prevent bad outcomes. Implementing the CARE Act in each state will provide a system for enhancing caregiver support.

Contact: Sarah Burger @ sgburger@rcn.com for questions about CGNO activities including staffing recommendations in long term care.