Martha Marx

STATE SENATOR

Martha Marx

DEPUTY MAJORITY LEADER

LISTENING TO YOU

May 11, 2023

SEN. MARX JOINS SENATE TO PASS BILL SHE INTRODUCED TO IMPROVE DISCHARGE STANDARDS FOR PATIENTS RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL CARE

Today, State Senator Martha Marx (D-New London), Vice Chair of the Public Health Committee, joined the Senate in the approval of legislation she introduced and co-sponsored that will improve hospital and nursing home discharge planning services in Connecticut. The legislation will update discharge planning services, requiring plans to include the date and location of each follow-up medical appointment scheduled before a patient’s discharge and a list of all medications the patient is currently taking and will take after discharge sent to their pharmacy. Sen. Marx introduced the bill reflective of her experiences providing care in her career as a nurse.

“Under modern discharge standards, a patient may be given a temporary prescription for medication and be asked to see a professional – only for that professional to be unavailable for weeks, harming their ability to receive that prescription and potentially harming their care in the process,” said Sen. Marx. “This bill is designed to reduce rehospitalization rates and make sure patients leaving the hospital after care are able to recover to the best of their ability. There are already standards in place for discharge from medical facilities – this will make sure they’re meeting patients where they need to be.”

Senate Bill 956, “An Act Requiring Discharge Standards Regarding Follow-Up Appointments and Prescription Medications For Patients Being Discharged From A Hospital Or Nursing Home Facility,” will require discharge service standards to require written information regarding the date and location of follow-up medical appointments scheduled before a patient’s discharge and a list of all medications a patient is taking and will take after discharge. Those discharge plans are already required to be written in consultation with a patient or their family or representative and their physician and a procedure to give a patient notice of that discharge plan before discharge.

Additionally, when a hospital or nursing home discharges a patient, the bill requires the facility to send information on each prescription ordered for a patient before discharge to a patient’s pharmacy. Sen. Marx highlighted the importance of this because it will provide pharmacists with more accurate information in filling prescriptions, including in filling patient pill boxes, to improve the safety of a discharged patient.

According to the Patient Safety Network, studies have shown that nearly 20% of hospital patients discharged from the hospital experience adverse events within three weeks of discharge and nearly 75% of those events could have been prevented or ameliorated. Adverse drug events are the most common discharge complication; procedural complications are also responsible for such issues. Nearly 20% of Medicare patients are rehospitalized within 20 days of discharge. With each rehospitalization adding to patient medical costs, hospital care capacity and worsening public health, improving rehospitalization rates is a significant need, which this bill aims to address.

Prior to its passage today, the bill passed the Public Health Committee in March by a unanimous 35-0 vote. It now heads to the House for further consideration.