Governor Responds to DRTx Letter About Support for Hospitalized People with Disabilities

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People with Disabilities Anticipating Hospitalization Should Consider Preparing Supported Decision Making Agreement

By Richard LaVallo, DRTx Legal Director

On April 17, 2020, DRTx sent a letter to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) requesting that its “Guidance to Hospitals to Prevent Spread of COVID-19” be clarified to allow a support person to be considered as an essential visitor when  a person with a disability is hospitalized.

On May 1, 2020, HHSC responded that its Guidance was replaced by Emergency Rule 133.51 (d) that allows a support person for people with disabilities to act as a person providing critical assistance  and be allowed to entry into the hospital if they pass the COVID-19 screening.

Attached below are:

  1. DRTx’s letter to HHSC on April 27, 2020
  2. HHSC’s response on May 1, 2020; and Emergency Rule 133.51(d)

If a person with a disability is anticipating needing to be hospitalized or wants to make preparations in the event they are hospitalized for COVID-19, the person should consider entering into a supported decision making agreement so that his or her supporter would be allowed to provide support during a hospitalization.

If a person wants assistance in preparing a supported decision making agreement, please contact our intake line at 1-800-252-9108. See our supported decision making resource page for more information.

Attached documents