DeLuca introduces legislation that would require nursing facilities to provide COVID-19-related info to family members

HARRISBURG, May 19 – Looking to provide transparency and peace of mind to families who have loved ones in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Tony DeLuca on Monday introduced legislation that would require nursing homes to provide data on the number of COVID-19 cases at their facility when a family member requests the information.

“COVID-19 hit the commonwealth hard, especially our senior population and those housed in nursing homes and senior care facilities,” DeLuca said. “It’s crucial that we make sure we’re providing updated data to family members who have loved ones in these facilities so that they know up front what they, as a family, are facing. Transparency is key now more than ever.”

DeLuca said his measure, H.B. 2354, would require nursing homes and related facilities to disclose the aggregate total number of COVID-19 cases that are present in the facility when this information is requested by a family member or individual who can make health care decisions on behalf of the nursing home resident.

All data provided by these facilities would strictly include numbers and aggregated data, DeLuca said, noting the importance of upholding a patient’s confidentiality privileges. 

“By limiting who can access this information, we strike an effective balance between patient privacy and information needed for health care decision-making,” DeLuca said “Plus, this is a great procedure to have in place in the event a pandemic ever strikes the commonwealth again.”

DeLuca said he hopes H.B. 2354 will be considered in the House chamber in the near future.