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Medicare Patients|To Choose Visitors

WASHINGTON (CN) - President Obama has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt regulations that will allow Medicare and Medicaid hospital patients to designate people who may be treated as immediate family, regarding visitation and medical decision making.

The agency also is to provide technical assistance on how hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid can best comply with and fully enforce regulations meant to guarantee that all patients' advance directives are respected, and that patients' representatives have the right to make informed decisions regarding patients' care.

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