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Ohio House Unanimously Passes Never Alone Act


COLUMBUS, OH – In a unanimous decision last week, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 236, known as the Never Alone Act. State Representative Justin Pizzulli (R-Scioto County) announced his support as a co-sponsor of the legislation.

The Never Alone Act mandates that every patient in a hospital, nursing home, or other congregate care setting has access to an advocate, especially during health emergencies. This legislation was developed in response to the isolation many patients experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Never Alone Act ensures every patient has a voice,” said Rep. Pizzulli. “It was devastating to see so many individuals suffer alone during the COVID pandemic, and this legislation will ensure it does not happen again. It’s important that every patient has someone advocating for their needs when they are not able to.”

Key Provisions of the Never Alone Act:

  • Advocate Designation: Requires congregate care settings to inform patients or residents that they may designate an individual to serve as their advocate and provides the opportunity to make such a designation.
  • Access and Presence: Prohibits congregate care settings from denying a patient or resident access to an advocate and from prohibiting an advocate from being physically present with a patient or resident.
  • Prohibition on Restrictive Orders: Prevents political subdivisions, public officials, or state agencies from issuing or enforcing any order or rule that would require a care setting to violate the bill’s provisions.
  • Information Distribution: Requires the Department of Health to create a Never Alone information sheet, which must be provided to each patient or resident at the time of admission.

The passage of the Never Alone Act represents a significant step toward ensuring that patients will never have to endure isolation during critical times in their lives again.