New York law now requires hospitals to let patients designate a family member or unrelated caregiver to receive advice on medical care, transfers to other facilities and medical needs upon discharge.
The new law should help many of nearly 2.6 million New Yorkers who provide unpaid care to family and loved ones, as well as about 1.6 million patients discharged from hospitals every year. The AARP has estimated the value of that care at almost $32 billion annually.
The law, signed Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, applies to about 200 general hospitals statewide and says designated caregivers should be trained by hospital staff for tasks after patient discharge, such as changing bandages or administering medication.