Friday, April 19, 2013

TN Lawmakers Amend Conservatorship Bill After Concern From Hospitals

A long awaited bill to rewrite the state law governing conservatorships has undergone a last minute amendment at the request of hospitals thus delaying a final House vote on the measure and forcing another Senate vote.

The amendment, which triggered a brief debate and a motion to delay further action came Wednesday as the General Assembly moved toward a planned early adjournment.

The amendment would create a new and special path for hospitals to move patients unable to make decisions for themselves into lower cost settings such as nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities.

Under the amendment, a hospital could petition the court directly for authorization to transfer a patient unable to act for him or herself to a lower level of care without going through notice and waiting periods.

Rep. Andrew Farmer, a sponsor of the original legislation, said the change provides “another avenue for hospitals to move someone out of their bed. This is a compomise.” He said he had been approached by two hospitals, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center seeking the change.

Under the version of the bill approved earlier by the state Senate, hospitals would have had to comply with newly established procedures for emergency conservatorships, which require a notice within 48 hours to the person being conserved and a hearing within 5 days.

In brief debate after adoption of the amendment, several Republican members questioned why the amendment was being offered at the last minute and why it did not go through the Civil Justice Committee which approved an earlier version of the bill.

Allan F. Ramsaur of the Tennessee Bar Association, which originally proposed a rewrite of the state conservatorship law, said he expected the Senate to go along with the amendment.

“We worked with the hospitals to find a third way of preserving rights but not requiring them to keep someone in the expensive hospital bed,” Ramsaur said in an email response to questions.

Under the amendment a hospital would petition the court for the appointment on an expedited basis of a special limited fiduciary with the authority to have the patient discharged or transferred.

“The proposed amendment allows someone to be moved to an appropriate level of care without impacting or invoking the emergency provisions component of the act,” said John Howser, assistant vice chancellor for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “(It) is aimed as a last resort option for caregivers to be included as decision-makers for patients with no families or with families who cannot or will not be involved.”

The proposed rewrite of the conservatorship law came following statewide hearings by the bar association at which several former wards charged that their rights and property were taken away without notice or just cause.

Lawmakers Amend Conservatorship Law After Concern From Hospitals


StandUp said...

Are you kidding me? Conservatorship law doesn't exist to make life easier for hospitals for crying out loud.

This is very dangerous.

Thelma said...

What have the Bar and legislators done to protect people from financial exploitation by court-appointed "protectors"?

Too scared said...

How come we never see the following passage written the news?
"A long awaited bill to rewrite the state law governing conservatorships has undergone a last minute amendment at the request of victims, or a victims group, like NASGA."
I'll tell you why. Because victims are considered stupid, undereducated,and irresponsible, by many legislators. And hospitals are considered saint-like,full of under-paid, over-worked, highly educated pillars of society, and and their reputations must be preserved, and their actions are self-authenticating, their credential are impeccable. Therefore actions by hospitals are not to be investigated. Whereas victims are a bunch of trouble-makers, and therefore very suspicious. Now that I think about it, I knew the answer. So why did I ask the question. It must be wishful thinking. And wishful thinking is all victims are allowed.

Too Scared to Object said...

What hospital wants senior citizens clogging up their cash flow assets, the beds? And what legislator wants a hospital mad at him or her? But what senior citizen did anything to get a hospital mad?

Holly said...

Let me answer that for you Thelma.... NOTHING
They have done nothing to protect vulnerable seniors from the "court appointed fiduciaries/conservators." Each day I hope and pray for an avenue of public awareness because this is a rapidly growing problem in our country. There is no protection for the seniors... NONE!

B Inberg said...

Well it does now StandUp. What's coming next? Guardianship and conservatorship is not intended to be a handy way to take control of a persons life and assets with no notice just say hey judge we have a patient who needs to be moved just stamp this document now and it's a done deal.

Roy said...

If ever there was a big red flag showing us that conservatorship benefits everyone but the ward, this is it! Hospitals want conservatorships for their convenience? It's very scary.

Steve said...

I am steaming over this. Hospitals have no business in conservatorship law. Looks like hospitals have a strong lobby, though.

Debby said...

There is no doubt that this will legalize "isolate, medicate, and rape the estate". Once in conservatorship, search and seizure becomes legal also, it will also allow no accountability for violating the U.S. Constitution protections. Where is this country heading?

tina d said...

Follow the $ and the votes. In my opinion this is blackmail the way bills are drafted with influence from the special interest group with the $ and power to keep an elected one in power and the influence to direct future elections to others who will be beholding to their big supporters and contributors.

Thelma said...

The amended "emergency" legislation is grossly constitutionally violative, on its face! I'm not talking about the hospital thing here; just the "emergency" legislation itself.
There should be PRIOR notice - that's the word that was missing from the existing law.

So Scared of Objecting said...

The nonprofit hospital's strategic method of committing doctor assisted suicide:
When the senior citizen's expense to the nonprofit hospital no longer supports the the nonprofit hospital's "profit," the nonprofit hospital just changes the sign on the door from "Intensive Care," to "Hospice," substitutes a morphine drip for oxygen, declares the senior citizen competent and requesting death, and kills the senior citizen. And police say, "So what?"

Anonymous said...

Once again, the elderly and vulnerable are treated like trash. These people are no different from the various scammers who target the elderly.