Gov. Baker Signs Laura’s Law to Ensure Access to Emergency Care

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito participated in a ceremonial signing of S.2931, “An Act to Ensure Safe Patient Access to Emergency Care,” also known as Laura’s Law, named in memory of Laura Levis. Baker and Polito were also joined by Levis’s husband, Pete DeMarco, members of her family, and state Sen. Pat Jehlen.

The new law implements minimum criteria and standards that ensure safe, timely, and accessible patient access to the entrances of Massachusetts hospital emergency departments. These regulations will require that entries must be clearly marked, easily accessible, and properly monitored by security when appropriate. Additionally, the Department of Public Health will convene a working group on patient access to hospital emergency rooms or departments to report on and make recommendations to inform these policies. In 2016, Levis died of an asthma attack outside a hospital when she was unable to locate an accessible entrance to the emergency room.

“I signed Laura’s Law to safeguard against future tragedies occurring just steps away from hospital emergency departments,” Baker said. “In the wake of her tragic passing, Laura’s husband, Pete, undertook an exhaustive effort to honor her legacy and protect others from similar fates.”