Patient Rights & Responsibilities

PATIENT RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

Patient Rights

• Receive access to equal medical treatment and accommodations regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, religion or sources of payment for care.

• Be fully informed and have complete information, to the extent known by the physician, regarding diagnosis, treatment, procedure and prognosis, as well as the risks and side effects associated with treatment and procedure prior to the procedure.

• Exercise his or her rights without being subjected to discrimination or reprisal.

• Voice grievances regarding treatment or care that is (or fails to be) furnished.

• Personal privacy.

• Receive care in a safe setting.

• Be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.

• Receive the care necessary to regain or maintain his or her maximum state of health and if necessary, cope with death.

• Receive notice of their rights prior to the surgical procedure in verbal and written notice in a language and manner that ensures the patient, or the patient’s representative, or the patient’s surrogate understand all of the patient’s rights.

• Expect personnel who care for the patient to be friendly, considerate, respectful, and qualified through education and experience, as well as perform the services for which they are responsible with the highest quality of services.

• Be fully informed of the scope of services available at the facility, provisions for after-hours care and related fees for services rendered.

• Be a participant in decisions regarding the intensity and scope of treatment. If the patient is unable to participate in those decisions, the patient’s rights shall be exercised by the patient’s designated representative or patient’s surrogate other legally designated person.

• Make informed decisions regarding his or her care.

• Refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and be informed of the medical consequences of such refusal. The patient accepts responsibility for his or her actions including refusal of treatment or not following the instructions of the physician or facility.

• Approve or refuse the release of medical records to any individual outside the facility, or as required by law or third party payment contract.

• Be informed of any human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting his or her care of treatment and can refuse participation in such experimentation or research without compromise to the patient’s usual care.

• Express grievances/complaints and suggestions at any time.

• Access to and/or copies of his/her medical records.

• Be informed as to the facility’s policy regarding advance directives/living wills.

• Be fully informed before any transfer to another facility or organization and ensure the receiving facility has accepted the patient transfer.

• Express those spiritual beliefs and cultural practices that do not harm or interfere with the planned course of medical therapy for the patient.

• Expect the facility to agree to comply with Federal Civil Rights Laws that assure it will provide interpretation for individuals who are not proficient in English.

• Have an assessment and regular assessment of pain.

• Education of patients and families, when appropriate, regarding their roles in managing pain.

• To change providers if other qualified providers are available.

• If a patient is adjudged incompetent under applicable state health and safety laws by a court of proper jurisdiction, the rights of the patient are exercised by the person appointed under State law to act on the patient’s behalf.

• If a state court has not adjudged a patient incompetent, any legal representative designated by the patient in accordance with state laws may exercise the patient’s rights to the extent allowed by state law.

 

Patient Responsibilities
Greater individual involvement by patients in their care increases the likelihood of achieving the best outcome. Among other acts, patients should:

  • Be considerate of other patients and personnel and for assisting in the control of noise, eating and other distractions.
  • Respecting the property of others and the facility.
  • Reporting whether he or she clearly understands the planned course of treatment and what is expected of him or her.
  • Keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, notifying the facility and physician.
  • Providing caregivers with the most accurate and complete information regarding present complaints, past illnesses and hospitalizations, medications, unexpected changes in the patient’s condition, or any other patient health matters.
  • Observing prescribed rules of the facility during his or her stay and treatment and, if instructions are not followed, forfeit of care at the facility.
  • Promptly fulfilling his or her financial obligations to the facility.
  • Identifying any patient safety concerns.
  • Provide a responsible adult to transport him/her home from the facility and remain with him/her for 24 hours if required by the provider.

PRIVACY RIGHTS FAQS

Can my physician discuss my case with other providers and/or staff in the office?

Yes, as long as your physician is discussing only the information needed to accomplish a legitimate function (like treatment or payment for your treatment). This is called the “minimum necessary” standard under the Privacy Rule.

Will the doctor's office still leave message reminders at my home?

Yes, unless you object to having the office contact you at your home, such as with appointment reminders, your physician will continue to leave message reminders and communications with you as necessary to provide quality service.

Can my physician still use a sign-in sheet and/or call my name in the waiting room to announce my "turn"?

Yes, your physician may still have you sign your name at the time of registration or announce your name in order to call you to an exam room.

Can my physician still fax records?

Yes, your physician may fax your health information as long as reasonable safeguards are used.

Do the HIPAA requirements apply to non physician staff?

Yes, everyone working in the office must follow these rules.

Can my physician discuss my care with a close family member or friend as we have been doing in the past?

Yes, HIPAA allows your physician to disclose your health information to family members and friends involved in your care as long as you do not object to the disclosure.

Does HIPAA still allow parents the right to access their children's records?

Parents of children 17 years and under generally have access to their child’s health information. However, HIPAA usually defers to state law in recognizing certain confidential relationships.

If my physician is referring me to another physician, can this physician have access to my records before I enter his/her office for the first time?

Yes, HIPAA does not prohibit the physician from accessing your health information to prepare the process for seeing you for the first time.

Does HIPAA prevent physician offices from reporting patients to collection agencies?

No. Under HIPAA, collection activities are considered legitimate payment functions, and disclosures of “minimum necessary” data to collection or credit agencies to receive payment are possible.

Does HIPAA allow my physician to share my health information to market goods and services?

HIPAA prohibits the selling or disclosing of your private health information.