Patient’s Bill of Rights
- Information Disclosure. Consumers have the right to receive
accurate, easily understood information and some require assistance in making informed
health care decisions about their health plans, professionals, and facilities.
- Choice of Providers and Plans. Consumers have the right to
a choice of health care providers that is sufficient to ensure access to appropriate
high-quality health care.
- Access to Emergency Services. Consumers have the right to access
emergency health care services when and where the need arises. Health plans should
provide payment when a consumer presents to an emergency department with acute symptoms
of sufficient severity -- including severe pain -- such that a "prudent layperson"
could reasonably expect the absence of medical attention to result in placing that
consumer's health in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily functions, or
serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
- Participation in Treatment Decisions. Consumers have the right
and responsibility to fully participate in all decisions related to their health
care. Consumers who are unable to fully participate in treatment decisions have
the right to be represented by parents, guardians, family members, or other conservators.
- Respect and Nondiscrimination. Consumers have the right to
considerate, respectful care from all members of the health care system at all times
and under all circumstances. An environment of mutual respect is essential to maintain
a quality health care system.
- Confidentiality of Health Information. Consumers have the right
to communicate with health care providers in confidence and to have the confidentiality
of their individually identifiable health care information protected. Consumers
also have the right to review and copy their own medical records and request amendments
to their records.
- Complaints and Appeals. All consumers have the right to a fair
and efficient process for resolving differences with their health plans, health
care providers, and the institutions that serve them, including a rigorous system
of internal review and an independent system of external review.
- Consumer Responsibilities. In a health care system that protects
consumers' rights, it is reasonable to expect and encourage consumers to assume
reasonable responsibilities. Greater individual involvement by consumers in their
care increases the likelihood of achieving the best outcomes and helps support a
quality improvement, cost-conscious environment.