01/19/2011 | Truman Lewis | ConsumerAffairs.com:
New hospital rules go into effect today, permitting patients to designate who may visit them.
It's the result of an executive order by President Obama and is intended to address the issue of gay and transgender patients whose partners may be prohibited from visiting them at some hospitals.
The executive order applies to all hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid and expressly forbids denying visitation privileges because of sexual orientation or gender identity. Any hospital that fails to comply risks losing its federal funding.
"There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital.," Obama said when he signed the order last April.
"In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean – a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them." Read more>>