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U.S. Patients' Bill of Rights

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The Patient's Bill of Rights

Consumer Bill of Rights and ResponsibilitiesEdit

The following summarizes eight areas of consumer rights and responsibilities adopted by the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry in 1998 [1]. Many health plans have adopted these principles:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

McCain-Edwards-Kennedy Patients' Bill of Rights Senate bill S.1052Edit

The McCain-Edwards-Kennedy Patients' Bill of Rights Senate bill S.1052 was an attempt to providing comprehensive protections to all Americans in health plans in 2001.

The House of Representatives and Senate passed differing versions of the Patients' Bill of Rights. Although both bills would provide patients key rights such as prompt access to emergency care and medical specialists, only the Senate-passed measure would provide patients with adequate means to enforce their rights.

The Senate-passed Patients' Bill of Rights confers a broad array of rights on patients. The bill would ensure that patients have the right to:

  • have their medical decisions made by a doctor;
  • see a medical specialist;
  • go to the closest emergency room;
  • designate a pediatrician as a primary care doctor for their children;
  • keep the same doctor throughout their medical treatment;
  • obtain the prescription drugs their doctor prescribes;
  • access a fair and independent appeals process if care is denied; and
  • hold their health plan accountable for harm done.

The Congress did not pass this bill in 2002.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

nl:Patiëntenrecht

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