Compassionate Care Visits

What you need to know about COMPASSIONATE CARE VISITS

This document describes compassionate care visits allowed at health care facilities in accordance
with 191.1400, RSMo., known as the Compassionate Care Visitation Act and No Patient Left Alone
NOTE: The provisions of section 191.1400, RSMo., shall not be terminated, suspended, or waived
except by a declaration of emergency under Chapter 44, RSMo., during which time the provisions of
sections 191.2290, RSMo. (Essential Caregiver Program Act), and 630.202, RSMo., shall apply.
• No health care facility shall be held liable for damages in an action involving a liability claim
against the facility arising from the compliance with the provisions of 191.1400, RSMo. The
immunity described in 191.1400.11, RSMo., shall not apply to any act or omission by a facility, its
employees, or its contractors that constitutes recklessness or willful misconduct and shall be
provided in addition to, and shall in no way limit, any other immunity protections that may apply in
state or federal law.
• Nothing in section 191.1400, RSMo., shall be construed to waive or change long-term care facility
residents’ rights under sections 198.088, RSMo. and 198.090, RSMo.

What is a Health Care Facility? A health care facility is a hospital, as defined in section 197.020,
RSMo., a long-term care facility licensed under chapter 198, RSMo., or a hospice facility certified
under chapter 197, RSMo.
What is a Compassionate Care Visitor? A compassionate care visitor is a patient’s or resident’s
friend, family member, or other person requested by the patient or resident for the purpose of a
compassionate care visit.
What is a Compassionate Care Visit? A compassionate care visit is a visit necessary to meet
the physical or mental needs of the patient or resident, including, but not limited to:
• End-of-life situations, including making decisions regarding end-of-life care during in-person
contact or communication with the compassionate care visitor;
• Adjustment support or communication support, including, but not limited to, assistance with
hearing and speaking;
• Emotional support;
• Physical support after eating or drinking issues, including weight loss or dehydration; or
• Social support.

Who is permitted to visit? A health care facility shall allow a patient or resident, or his or her legal
guardian, to permit at least two (2) compassionate care visitors simultaneously to have in-person
contact with the patient or resident during visiting hours.
Is there a time limitation for visits? Compassionate care visitation hours shall be no less than
six (6) hours daily and shall include evenings, weekends, and holidays. Health care facilities shall be
permitted to place additional restrictions on children under the age of fourteen (14) who are
compassionate care visitors.

Visitation Policy: Health care facilities shall have a visitation policy that allows, at a minimum:
(1) Twenty-four (24) hour attendance by a compassionate care visitor when reasonably
(2) A compassionate care visitor to leave and return within the hours of the visitation policy. A
patient or resident may receive multiple compassionate care visitors during visitation hours,
subject to the provisions of subsection 191.1400.3; and
(3) Parents with custody or unsupervised visitation rights, legal guardians, and other persons
standing in loco parentis to be physically present with a minor child while the child receives care in
the facility.
*A health care facility shall provide patients or residents with effective communication supports
or other reasonable accommodations in accordance with federal and state laws to assist in
remote personal contact; and comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act
of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq.

A Health Care Facility may limit visitation based on the following:
(1) The number of visitors per patient or resident at one time based on the size of the building and
physical space;
(2) Movement of visitors within the health care facility, including restricting access to operating
rooms, isolation rooms or units, behavioral health units, or other commonly restricted areas; and
(3) Access of any person to a patient:
(a) At the request of the patient or resident, or the legal guardian of such;
(b) At the request of a law enforcement agency for a person in custody;
(c) Due to a court order;
(d) To prevent substantial disruption to the care of a patient or resident or the operation of the
(e) During the administration of emergency care in critical situations;
(f) If the person has measurable signs and symptoms of a transmissible infection; except that,
the health care facility shall allow access through telephone or other means of
telecommunication that ensure the protection of the patient or resident;
(g) If the health care facility has reasonable cause to suspect the person of being a danger or
otherwise contrary to the health or welfare of the patient or resident, other patients or residents,or facility staff; or
(h) If, in the clinical judgment of the patient’s or resident’s attending physician, the presence of
visitors would be medically or therapeutically contraindicated to the health or life of the patient
or resident, and the attending physician attests to such in the patient’s or resident’s chart.
• A health care facility may limit or redirect visitors of a patient or resident in a shared
room to ensure the health and safety of the patients or residents in the shared room.
• A health care facility may adopt reasonable safety or security restrictions or other
requirements for visitors.

Who can report a complaint regarding a compassionate care visit?: A compassionate care
visitor of a patient or resident of a health care facility may report any violation of the provisions of
191.1400, RSMo., by a health care facility to the Department of Health and Senior Services. The
department shall begin investigating any such complaint filed under subsection 191.1400.10, RSMo.
within thirty-six (36) hours of receipt of the complaint. The purpose of such investigation shall be to
ensure compliance with the provisions of section 191.1400, RSMo. and any such investigation shall
otherwise comply with the complaint processes established by section 197.080, RSMo. for a hospital,
section 197.268, RSMo. for a hospice facility, and section 198.532, RSMo., for a long-term care

of the Compassionate Care Visit Act/No Patient Left Behind Act to the
Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline