Patients' Bill of Rights

As a patient, you should ask questions about your condition and the treatment your doctor suggests. What's more, you have the right to understand your health plan and to choose your healthcare providers. And if your health is in jeopardy, you have the right to obtain emergency services whenever and wherever needed, without financial penalty. Learn about all your rights and put your mind at ease.
 
I. Information Disclosure
You have the right to receive accurate and easily understood information about your health plan, health care professionals, and health care facilities. If you speak another language, have a physical or mental disability, or just don’t understand something, assistance will be provided so you can make informed health care decisions.
 
II. Choice of Providers and Plans
You have the right to a choice of health care providers that is sufficient to provide you with access to appropriate high-quality health care.
 
III. Access to Emergency Services
If you have severe pain, an injury, or sudden illness that convinces you that your health is in serious jeopardy, you have the right to receive screening and stabilization emergency services whenever and wherever needed, without prior authorization or financial penalty.
 
IV. Participation in Treatment Decisions
You have the right to know all your treatment options and to participate in decisions about your care. Parents, guardians, family members, or other individuals that you designate can represent you if you cannot make your own decisions.
 
V. Respect and Nondiscrimination
You have a right to considerate, respectful, and nondiscriminatory care from your doctors, health plan representatives, and other health care providers.
 
VI. Confidentiality of Health Information
You have the right to talk in confidence with health care providers and to have your health care information protected. You also have the right to review and copy your own medical record and request that your physician amend your record if it is not accurate, relevant, or complete.
 
VII. Complaints and Appeals
You have the right to a fair, fast, and objective review of any complaint you have against your health plan, doctors, hospitals, or other health care personnel. This includes complaints about waiting times, operating hours, the conduct of health care personnel, and the adequacy of health care facilities.
 
*Adopted by the U.S. Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry in 1998. Many health plans have adopted these principles. Source: www.consumer.gov/qualityhealth/rights.htm.

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