TN Conservatorship Bill Amendment Regarding Emergency Hearings and Also Hospitals Goes to Governor

A rewrite of the state law governing conservatorships setting new first time standards for emergency cases has been approved by the Tennessee General Assembly and will now goes to Gov. Bill Haslam.

The measure was approved on a 32-0 vote Friday by the state Senate after that body agreed to a last minute amendment sought by hospitals and previously approved by the House. There was no debate.

The overall proposal was offered earlier this year by the Tennessee Bar Association following a series of public hearings held across the state.

“We’re very pleased to have had an opportunity to take a careful look at the law,” said Allan Ramsaur of the bar association following the Senate vote. It should bring some clarity to the way the process works.”

The change in the law followed controversy surrounding several conservatorship cases in the Nashville area in which those placed in a conservatorship charged that they were not given adequate notice and that all their possessions were taken away in the process.

Under the bill voted Friday, a person being placed in a conservatorship on an emergency basis would have to be informed of the action within 48 hours and a hearing would have to be held in five days.

The bar association found in its hearings that without a statewide standard, courts across the state were using varying methods to handle emergency cases.

The last minute amendment sets up a special process for cases in which a hospital patient can be placed in a temporary conservatorship on an expedited basis in cases where the hospital stated the patient needed to be transferred to a lower level of care but lacked the capacity to make his or her own health decisions.

In those cases the hospital could petition the court for the appointment of a temporary conservator with the authority to approve a transfer to a nursing home or other health facility.

Officials of the Vanderbilt Medical Center said the provision would enable them to free up a scarce acute care bed for another patient needing that level of care.

A second amendment approved by the House and Senate clarifies that the new law will only apply to cases filed after July 1 of this year.

Conservatorship Abuse Law Goes to Haslam
See Also:
TN Lawmakers Amend Conservatorship Bill After Concern From Hospitals

6 Responses to “TN Conservatorship Bill Amendment Regarding Emergency Hearings and Also Hospitals Goes to Governor”

  1. Thelma Says:

    Shouldn't I have notice BEFORE you disempower me and take all my assets and property?

  2. StandUp Says:

    And pretty soon, we'll have the hospital execs sitting on the bench….

  3. Norma Says:

    This just boils my blood. Hospitals shouldn't be involved in conservatorships.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    please governor haslam, don't sign this bill.

  5. Luis Says:

    That's right, Governor. You'd be violating our rights along with your legislators.

  6. Norma Says:

    It looks like a slam dunk and that's too bad. Now, there's even more work to do in TN.

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