What the CARE Act Means for Hospitals

The CARE (Care, Advise, Record, Enable) Act is designed to support family caregivers as they help their loved ones during and after hospitalizations. To encourage hospitals to become more patient- and family-focused in their care practices, hospitals are required to provide caregivers with the necessary information to properly assist their loved ones at home.  To date, the law has been passed or enacted by 18 states.

What challenges does the CARE Act address?

  • Currently, 39% of caregivers spend at least 30 hours each week caring for loved ones, and 31% spend more than 40 hours each week.
  • Informal caregiving of elderly people by friends and relatives in the US costs $522 billion annually.
  • Collectively, caregivers spend an estimated 30 billion hours a year providing care to elderly relatives and friends.
  • As hospital stays get shorter, family members are taking on more medical tasks on top of helping with everyday needs (bathing, dressing, preparing meals, etc.). Many family members report not having any instruction on how to properly perform medical tasks.

How will the CARE Act impact hospitals?

This new law introduces three important requirements of hospitals:

  1. The name of the family caregiver is recorded in the medical record when a loved one is admitted to a hospital, or in observation status overnight.
  2. The family caregiver is notified when the loved one is to be discharged back home
  3. The hospital must provide a live or recorded demonstration of medical tasks, such as medication management, injections, and wound care

How can hospitals achieve compliance?

Hospitals must recognize that the point of discharge is a chaotic time, making it difficult for patients and caregivers to correctly remember all of the proper post-discharge instructions. Echo, CipherHealth’s best-in-class solution for recorded care instructions, confronts this challenge by allowing nurses or providers to record customized instructions before the patient leaves the hospital. After returning home, patients and caregivers can easily access these recordings. Echo simplifies the transition back home, increasing compliance with care plans and reducing preventable readmissions.

To learn more about how Echo can help your organization prepare for the CARE Act, contact us or download our overview.


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As Demand Generation Manager, Lucia Huang, RN, integrates her previous experiences on the front lines of patient care within the broader context of the business of healthcare. She is passionate about empowering nurses to provide the highest quality and experience of patient care through technology. Lucia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics from the Wharton School and a BSN from the School of Nursing.

CipherHealth empowers providers across the care continuum to deliver enhanced patient experiences and communications through a modular, comprehensive patient engagement technology platform.