Public Comments for: HB569 - Hospices, home care organizations, private providers, etc; immunity from liability.
I do not support any bills that criminalize folks
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, and committee members: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB 16 and thank you, Delegate Fowler, for your work updating our state’s Safe Haven law. We, Virginia is for Children (an advocacy group for the lives of vulnerable children in our state), are following the Safe Haven law efforts and are fully supportive of the extension to thirty days of age for infant relinquishment. This is a reasonable, standard amount of time for a mom/parent to conclude that they cannot parent their baby OR, change their mind and decide they can parent their baby. Such a significant, life-altering decision does not need to be rushed or hurried. We know that moms who have just given birth, especially those who are alone, need time to recover physically and emotionally. Moms can experience postpartum depression after the birth of child, this typically occurs within the first 1-3 weeks after birth, parents can be in desperate situations- experiencing homelessness, abuse, addiction and need time to get help. Twenty-one states are now at thirty days for age of relinquishment. Utah just extended their law to thirty days in February, 2020 and approved funding for safe haven law awareness. Extending this law can potentially save more infants from abuse, neglect, and abandonment and give parents the time they need to make important decisions. We hope the committee will approve the extension and consider providing state funding for safe haven law awareness and promotion of safe haven locations or “safe baby sites”. Not enough parents are informed about the law’s existence and the process involved. Our group is especially interested in a state funded, DSS promoted, 24-hour confidential, crisis hotline that would provide intervention and support for women in crisis pregnancies and struggling parents, so that they can get the help they need to parent their baby. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and committee members for your time and for the opportunity to voice our support of this bill. Sincerely, Leah Kipley VA is for Children
Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is opposed to this legislation. VHHA previously joined other provider groups and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association to request the issuance of an executive order to address liability protections for “health care providers” as set forth in Virginia Code Sections 8.01-225.01 and 8.01-225.02. The applicability of the immunities in these statutes are limited to “health care providers” as defined in the Medical Malpractice Act (8.01-581.1), which does not expressly include hospices, home care organizations, private providers, assisted living facilities, and adult day care centers. Then in the 2020 Special Session I, VHHA supported HB5059 and SB5082 creating § 8.01-225.03. We believe that these provisions are necessary and appropriate to provide limited immunity protection for these additional provider types assisting in the COVID-19 response that is equivalent to that afforded to other health care providers. This is especially true in the midst of this most recent surge of hospitalizations and infections that has reached levels not seen in previous surges.
The Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice Opposes House Bill 569. This bill places licensed home care and hospice organizations at great risk. Home care and Hospice organizations have worked diligently through what has been an overwhelming public health care crisis. Many of our patients that were discharged to Home Care and Hospice organizations by Hospitals and Nursing Facilities were COVID positive. In Home Care our role was to rehabilitate. In Hospice, it was End-of-Life care. Our staff worked diligently when many other members of the community stayed at home. Again, this bill is harmful to Home Care and Hospice organizations and serves no public good. On behalf of the Home Care and Hospice industry we respectfully as you to vote no!